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Kartel’s lawyer impressed with ‘A-one’ response from Court of Appeal

Published:Saturday | April 13, 2024 | 12:11 AMTanesha Mundle/Staff Reporter
Vybz Kartel.
Vybz Kartel.

VYBZ KARTEL’S lawyer Isat Buchanan has lauded the Court of Appeal for moving swiftly in scheduling a hearing date to determine whether the popular entertainer and his three co-accused should be retried.

The Court of Appeal yesterday issued a notice informing that a hearing date has been set for June 10 when the court will hear submissions over five days.

Justice Marva McDonald Bishop, in issuing the notice, gave the appellants until May 6 to file their submissions for why a retrial should not be ordered, while the prosecution, which is pushing for another attempt to retry the men, will have until May 31 to file its response.

Buchanan, when contacted yesterday, said he was pleased with the quick response of the local appellate court in setting a date.

“The court’s reaction is A-one, they acted the same time as they got the order, that’s swift in terms of case management.

“I would have committed previously that the court act expeditiously, so it has confirmed that our courts don’t waste time,” he said, while adding, “They are very mindful of constitutional challenge.”

Asked about his client’s reaction to the new development, Buchanan said he had not yet got a chance to speak with his client and raised concerns about the decision by the Department of Correctional Services not to allow visits by attorneys on the weekend.

As a result, he said he would not be able to speak to his client about the issue until Monday.

Questioned further about his client’s position in terms of arguments for opposing the retrial, Buchanan declined, saying the matter is now officially before the courts.

NO COMMENT

In the meantime, Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn, when contacted, confirmed that her office has received the notice, but declined to make any comments on the issue.

On March 14, Jamaica’s final court of appeal, the UK-based Privy Council, quashed the murder convictions Adidja ‘Vybz Kartel’ Palmer, Shawn ‘Shawn Storm’ Campbell, Kahira Jones and Andre St John.

They were convicted in 2014 for Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams’ murder in 2011.

Kartel and the others were sentenced to life imprisonment.

However, the Privy Council said in its judgment that the men’s convictions should be quashed on the grounds of juror misconduct.

The court ruled that the trial judge should have dismissed a tainted juror, Livingston Cain, who was later found guilty of accepting a bribe to try to influence other jurors in the case.

Kartel and his co-accused have denied any involvement in the killing of Williams.

The prosecution’s case, however, was that the appellants murdered Williams on August 16, 2011, after he failed to return two unlicensed firearms, which Palmer had given him for safekeeping.

Williams was not seen or heard from after that date, and his body has never been found.

tanesha.mundle@gleanerjm.com