Vybz Kartel’s legal team, in the Dancehall artist’s appeal case, has accused the prosecution of breaching their clients’ constitutional rights and of not following due process during their 2014 murder trial.
Earlier this week, the defense team asserted that Kartel’s constitutional rights were violated during the much-publicised trial in which he and Shawn ‘Shawn Storm’ Campbell, Kahira Jones and Andre St John were convicted for the murder of their associate, Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams.
Queens Counsel Valerie Neita Robertson, Kartel’s attorney argued that that right was breached when the trial judge, Justice Lennox Campbell excluded them from an in camera hearing that was called to discuss allegations that the jury was contaminated.
The lawyer said the four had a right to be present at all stages of their trial.
Robertson, who represents Shawn Storm, also argued that the “My Life” deejay blundered when he handed the case to the jury shortly before 4:00 pm on the date their fates were sealed. The lawyer charged that it is not recommended in legal circles for the jury to be asked to deliberate on a case after 3:00 pm. She insisted that the jurors were unduly pressured to arrive at a verdict and as such facilitated a miscarriage of justice.
A main point of argument for the defense has been the handling by Justice Campbell and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Paula Llewelyn, of information that a member of the jury panel had been bribed and in turn attempted to bribe the other jurors. Robertson pointed out that the jury foreman admitted that she had played for the other jurors a tape recording of a male member of the panel discussing the alleged bribe.
The said juror has been charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice and the matter is still before the courts. According to Robertson, the allegation meant that the jury panel was further contaminated. She asserted that Llewelyn should have discontinued the trial.
Vybz Kartel was convicted of murder in 2014, along with Shawn Storm, whose real name is Shawn Campbell, Kahira Jones and Andre St John, for killing Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams at a house in Havendale, St Andrew in August 2011.
They were all given the mandatory life sentence with Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, ordered to serve 35 years before he is eligible for parole. Campbell, Jones and St John were ordered to each serve 25 years before they become eligible for parole.