Kartel appeal now in judges' hands


July 25, 2018
Vybz Kartel

The Court of Appeal has reserved its decision in the legal challenge filed by popular entertainers Vybz Kartel and Shawn Storm against their murder convictions and lengthy prison sentences.

President of the Court of Appeal Justice Dennis Morrison has, however, indicated that the case would be given "some priority attention".

"I am not about to give any indication when we will give our decision," Morrison said, making reference to justices Frank Williams and Patrick Brooks, who comprised the panel that heard the appeal.

Kartel, real name Adidja Palmer, and Shawn Storm, real name Shawn Campbell, were convicted in April 2014, along with Kahira Jones and Andre St John, for killing Clive 'Lizard' Williams at a house in Havendale, St Andrew, in August 2011.

All four were given the mandatory life sentence with Kartel ordered to serve 35 years before he is eligible for parole. Campbell, Jones and St John were each ordered to serve 25 years before they become eligible for parole.

Their attorneys argued, in nearly five days of legal submissions, that their right to a fair trial was prejudiced by a number of factors, including the admission of "contaminated" evidence during the 17-week murder trial.

Among the "contaminated" evidence cited was a BlackBerry message lifted from Kartel's mobile phone.

However, prosecutors insist that the integrity of the evidence remains intact and urged the judges to treat the message as an admission to murder.

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