The five-day trial to determine if entertainers Vybz Kartel and Shawn Storm, along with their two co-accused, will face a retrial or secure their freedom began today.

In today’s proceedings, Justice McDonald Bishop dismissed the claim that Vybz Kartel’s heart condition could not sustain a retrial.

Kartel’s attorneys submitted an affidavit from his son, Likkle Vybz, stating that the Dancehall deejay is sick. In the affidavit, Likkle Vybz argued that his father’s incarceration has negatively affected the family, mentioning that every night his grandmother, Kartel’s mother, Theresa Wilson Palmer, prays for her son.

However, Justice McDonald Bishop rejected this argument, stating that the Likkle Vybz could not have witnessed the prayers every night, deeming the argument hearsay.

Meanwhile, attorneys representing Shawn Storm pointed to coverage by video blogger Sir P of the popular Politricks Watch YouTube channel in an affidavit. They argued that it would be impossible for their client to receive a fair retrial, citing that bloggers with no journalistic training have influenced public perception of the case.

Acting Director of Public Prosecutions, Claudette Thompson, argued that such arguments and pleadings should not be included in the affidavits.

However, the court did not accept the acting DPP’s objections. Justice McDonald Bishop allowed the arguments to remain in the affidavits as they are. The judges stated that they reserve the right to revisit any preliminary ruling on the DPP’s objections.

Meanwhile, Alessandra LaBeach, one of the attorneys representing Vybz Kartel, says she’s “very hopeful”, and that, “the men are eager to have their matter dealt with so that the issue of their freedom can finally be determined.”

The hearing, which began today (June 10), is scheduled to last for five days.

On the final day, Friday, June 14, the Court of Appeal will determine whether to order a retrial for Vybz Kartel, Shawn Storm, and their two co-accused, or set them free.