Investigate correctional officers overseeing Kartel – Scott Mottley
Opposition spokesperson on Justice, Donna Scott Mottley, has called for a thorough investigation into the actions of correctional officers monitoring incarcerated dancehall artiste Vybz Kartel, following a recent seizure of contraband from his cell.
“There obviously has to be a thorough investigation of the matter, and if there are persons there who are breaching the rules, we ought to know who has breached it and they ought to be sanctioned for it because we expect them to enforce the rules, not assist others in breaking them,” Scott Mottley, who is an attorney-at-law, told The Gleaner yesterday.
“I haven’t heard of any action being proposed, but they cannot leave this matter as it is. It has to be investigated because if this is happening, we don’t know what other sorts of contraband is entering into the prison population,” she added.
The Correctional Services launched an investigation late last month after the artiste, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, reportedly went live on Instagram. This triggered a search of his cell where the items were confiscated.
Kartel and three co-accused were convicted in 2014 for the murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams. Yesterday, the Court of Appeal dismissed an application by his attorneys for his conviction to be overturned.
According to Scott Mottley, Kartel’s apparent access to restricted items in prison suggests that he has had too much freedom owing to his celebrity status.
“Some time ago, there was an allegation that he was producing music from prison. But I don’t see why any prisoner should be given special treatment, as you have to be treated the same way as the rest of the prison population,” Scott Mottley asserted.
Cornwall Bar Association president and attorney Lambert Johnson echoed similar sentiments, noting that access to items such as cellular phones allows incarcerated criminals to continue their unlawful deeds from behind bars.
“It’s my expectation that the correctional officers will face the brunt of any displeasure from the higher-ups, and I suspect they will be subject to disciplinary hearings. Having a cell phone, while you’re serving time, is a clear breach of any protocol, because it’s known that gang leaders use cell phones from prison to give orders and continue their reign of terror,” said Johnson.