Convicted dancehall entertainer Vybz Kartel’s appeal process has been stalled by the emigration of a Supreme Court reporter. Almost two years ago, Kartel was convicted of murdering Clive Lizard Williams in Havendale, St. Andrew.
On the evening of Thursday March 13th 2014, shortly after his client Vybz Kartel was found guilty for the murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams, lead defence attorney Tom Tavares-Finson stood outside Kingston’s Home Circuit Court contemplating his next move.
“There is an appeal process on which we will embark upon,” Mr. Finson said, reflecting on the 65-day court battle that ended in defeat.
“We have to accept it, and move along.”
However, despite his attorneys filing a notice of an intention to appeal shortly after he was found guilty, the process has stalled.
Kartel’s attorney, Tom Tavares Finson, explains why they transcript of the trial is incomplete.
“What has been holding us of now, has been the progression of the transcript, which is the function or the purview of steno writer department,” Mr. Finson explained.
“Now you recognize that this is a very long transcript of the trial and we had expected that the transcript would have been ready by July of 2015 the latest but it is not ready. My information is that a small bit of the transcript… I think representing for four or five days is outstanding and there had been some difficulties in getting those four r five days completed, and that is what has been holding up the appeal,” Mr. Finson added.
Mr. Tavares Finson says he has written the Chief Justice, Zaila McCalla.
“We will continue to write to the relevant authority, Chief Justice including, asking her for her intervention to have the matter dealt with expeditiously and we are awaiting some form of response from the stenographer that we hope we will get early in the new year,” Mr Finson concluded.
Vybz Kartel, who was sentenced to life imprisonment, has maintained his innocence and has filed an appeal to overturn his conviction.
Sources close to the former Portmore Empire deejay told Hype Life Magazine that the “Dancehall Hero” deejay will continue his fight for freedom in the appeal court.
There have been as many rumours and romances about what he may be doing behind bars as there were during his time as a free man – another sure sign of the unique grasp he has on the public’s imagination. Whether or not he is guilty is just one of the many things people speak about.
Some stories have included accounts of him recording songs while locked away. Whether or not that’s true, there’s no disputing the fact that efforts to censor Kartel’s music or limit his impact on Jamaican society have failed.
While fans await his sentencing, his book The Voice Of The Jamaican Ghetto is still in stores, his music still runs the dancehall, and his Twitter remains on and popping.
As the subtitle on his book puts it, Kartel has been “incarcerated but not silenced”.