Tue | Jun 6, 2023

Tamper probe into Kartel phone

Published:Wednesday | June 16, 2021 | 12:12 AM
Vybz Kartel
Vybz Kartel

The cellular phone of incarcerated dancehall artiste Adidja ‘Vybz Kartel’ Palmer, which contained damning text and voice messages linking him to the murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams, is currently being analysed by an expert for possible signs of tampering.

The exhibit is among four evidential materials that the defence team had obtained permission from the Supreme Court to examine via a court order received on May 13.

The order, which was made by Justice Leighton Pusey, gives the defence permission to not only analyse the cell phone but a marked DVD containing a video of the murder, DVD with voice notes, and a compact disc.

Vybz Kartel, along with fellow entertainer Shawn ‘Shawn Storm’ Campbell, Kahira Jones, and Andre St John, was convicted for the August 16, 2011, murder of Williams in Havendale, St Andrew, but are seeking to have their life sentences overturned at the Privy Council.

Attorney-at-law Isat Buchanan, who is representing Palmer, said that the defence has always taken the position that there was “significant tampering” with cell phone evidence.

The items are to be made available to the defence examiner on condition that the items do not leave the island and that the examiner not tamper with or change the original exhibit or any material. The items are to be examined in the presence of an officer of the court and an expert from the Crown.

The court also ordered that the items should only be handled by an officer of the court and the approved examiner.

Kartel was ordered to serve 35 years before parole and St John, 30 years. The other two convicts were ordered to serve 20 years before being eligible for parole, but the accused each had two years shaved off their sentences following their appeal.

Attorney-at-law John Clark is representing Jones and St John, while attorney-at-law Bert Samuels is representing Campbell.