Appeal Court to make ruling in Kartel case by next month


The Court of Appeal will rule by next month if there will be a retrial for Dancehall Entertainer, Vybz Kartel and his co-appellants.

Kartel, whose given name is Adidja Palmer, along with Shawn ‘Shawn Storm’ Campbell, Kahira Jones and Andre St. John were sentenced to life imprisonment in 2014 for the 2011 murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams.

However, in March, the United Kingdom-based Privy Council quashed the murder conviction because of jury tampering.

Since last week, prosecutors and the men’s defense teams have been making submissions for and against a retrial respectively.

Today, the judge said the Court of Appeal will consider all evidence and notify the Council and Registrar as soon as a signal with reasons is ready.

The process will be expedited.


The prosecution argued that no price can be placed on a life, irrespective of the character of Clive “Lizard” Williams who is now deceased. 

The argument was put forward on day six of the retrial hearing for Dancehall Entertainer, Vybz Kartel and his three co-appellants in the Court of Appeal.

Acting Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Claudette Thompson brought home the point as she concluded submissions for a retrial.

The Acting DPP countered earlier submissions made by the defence about the length of time of the case and the financial costs incurred by the appellants. 

She maintained that the length and cost should not be weighed heavily as no price can be placed on the life of Mr. Williams, irrespective of his character.

She also maintained that there are systems in place to safeguard the appellants rights to a fair trial if one should be ordered.

The Acting DPP noted that the accused should not escape justice because of a technical blunder by a judge in the initial trial.

Meanwhile, Ms. Thompson said “the Crown will be ready for a retrial by the next Michaelmas term”.

Acting DPP Thompson argued that although the Trevor Taff and Rushon Hamilton cases – sent for retrial – have not started, this does not have to be the situation for Kartel’s case.

She explained that if a retrial should occur the prosecution would be ready as all its witnesses are available.

However, Justice Marva McDonald Bishop noted that she was concerned with why the prosecution would place more premium on Kartel’s murder case, when the case with Taff and Hamilton were also quite serious and already in line for retrial.

The Acting DPP maintained that the prosecution was not looking at the victims but at the circumstances of the cases. 

She stressed that her team would be ready to move forward in September when the new Michaelmas term begins.


Meanwhile, defense attorneys say the Charter of Constitutional Rights and Freedoms is not an empty promise to be ignored by the courts.

They stressed that acquitting the four men of their murder charge is the best way to address breaches of their constitutional rights.

Over the duration of the retrial hearing, both sides agreed that the men’s constitutional rights were breached during the initial trial.

The prosecution had argued, however, that bail could remedy the breaches if a retrial should occur.

But the defense today put forward that the best remedy is to free the men of their murder charge.


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