DPP says court orders were misinterpreted
Isat Buchanan, attorney-at-law for jailed deejay, Adidja ‘Vybz Kartel’ Palmer, is looking forward to his day in court before the United Kingdom-based Privy Council which has been requested to listen to his client’s appeal.
“We look forward to arguing the substantive appeal,” Buchanan told The Gleaner, while being cautious about providing any comment on the recent update of the appeal.
“The matter is sub judice [under a judge], as such it requires permission from the General Legal Council (GLC) to speak any further,” Buchanan shared.
News circulated on Tuesday that the Privy Council had denied the application for leave to appeal the conviction and sentence of Vybz Kartel, for the 2011 murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams; however, the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions subsequently brought clarity through a press release.
Speaking to The Gleaner, Director of Public Prosecutions Paula V. Llewellyn, King’s Counsel, said “There was a little mix-up in the interpretation of the court’s orders.”
In the press release, it is explained that the refusal, which was handed down on February 15, relates to two further applications made to the Privy Council, while awaiting the outcome of the original appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council against the conviction and sentence of Palmer, and co-convicts Kahira Jones, Andre St John and Shawn Campbell, also known by the moniker Shawn Storm.
“While awaiting the outcome of their appeal, two further applications were made to the Privy Council consequent on their attorneys’ court-sanctioned examination of the cellular phone exhibit by their expert which was done in the presence of the Crown’s expert in Jamaica,” the press release stated.
Vybz Kartel’s lawyers sought to have the court accept new evidence from an expert witness in order to establish that there was improper interference with the incarcerated deejay’s cellular phone while in the custody of the police. The second application submitted on behalf of the artiste requested permission of the Privy Council to advance additional grounds of appeal, in respect of which leave had not been previously granted by the Court of Appeal of Jamaica.
Llewellyn added, “The appeal against conviction and sentence is yet to be heard.”
In a June 2020 interview with Billboard magazine – at that time his first interview in nearly four years – Kartel opened up about his confidence in the Privy Council. “I would like to say re the Privy Council that I am going to be out soon. Law and statute are what the council deals in, not corruption. The appeal hearing in Jamaica, just like the trial, was a joke, a kangaroo court, a circus.”
He added further, “Since I got arrested, over 11,000 people have been murdered in Jamaica; the general public couldn’t care less because Vybz Kartel or another star’s name isn’t mentioned. Everyone is concerned with where Lizard is. Kids have been murdered but, whatever, they’re just kids … elderly have been murdered but that’s nothing … they were gonna die anyway. ‘We want justice for Lizard!!!’ is their cry. [Expletive] idiots. Over 11,000 people and no national outcry. I don’t even blame government as much anymore because as the Jamaican saying goes, ‘if patient don’t care, what doctor must do?’ So, there is no fair trial.”