Kartel and co-appellants anxiously await Court of Appeal decision 

The Court of Appeal announced today that it 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 April 2014 for the 2011 murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams.

However, the UK-based Privy Council overturned the men’s convictions on the grounds of jury tampering. 

The council also ruled that the matter be brought back to the Court of Appeal for it to determine if a retrial should be ordered. 

The six-day retrial hearing ended today. 


The end of July.

That’s the maximum timeline given by the Appellate Court, and that’s how long Jamaicans and the world may have to wait to hear if Vybz Kartel, Campbell, Jones and St. John will be retired. 

With the six-day hearing now concluded, the three-judge panel has been left with piles of documents to go through. 

It sounds daunting but lead Justice Marva McDonald-Bishop has pledged that all documents will be examined thoroughly before a ruling is handed down. 

Justice McDonald-Bishop explained that the question of retrial is never easy for a court of law, especially when it involves serious offences and lengthy delays. 

She said she is mindful of the need for expedition, especially since one of the appellants has a health issue. 

Justice McDonald-Bishop also noted that when handed down, the Court of Appeal’s decision will be accompanied by reasons to support its ruling. 

This, due to the importance of the case. 

But what sort of impact has the retrial hearing and today’s given timeline has on the appellants?

Defense Attorney, Isat Buchanan explained. 

Despite the clients’ anxiety, Mr. Buchanan said he remains optimistic that things will go well. 

He stressed that the Charter of Constitutional Rights and Freedoms contains promises for Jamaicans that should not be ignored by the courts. 

Mr. Buchanan also urged Jamaicans to see this case as a reason to become acquainted with their constitutional rights. 


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