Tom Tavares-Finson, lawyer of convicted entertainer, Vybz Kartel has denied information in yesterday’s Sunday Observer article that outlined that Kartel gave the police information that led to the apprehension of wanted men and the recovery of 17 firearms.
Tavares-Finson also rubbished claims made by the police that Vybz Kartel was an influential figure in the deadly Spanish Town-based Klansman Gang, and that the gang carried out killings on his behalf.
The article said that Vybz Kartel (real name Adidja Palmer) had met with the police to give them information when he realised that detectives were closing in on him for the murder of associate Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams, in August 2011, over the disappearance of two illegal firearms.
Additionally, Tavares-Finson noted that the article reported the police source as saying that the police had evidence that was not used in the five-week trial. He said he’s hearing about the so-called further evidence for the first time, and that the director of public prosecutions should say why that evidence wasn’t put before the court.
Vybz Kartel, Shawn ‘Shawn Storm’ Campbell, Kahira Jones and Andre St John have been sentenced to life imprisonment for Williams’ murder. They are to serve 35, 30 and 25 years behind bars before being eligible for parole.
Yesterday, Tavares-Finson told the Observer that the men have signed their appeal documents which are to be filed with the Court of Appeal.
“That is nothing but further propaganda by the police,” said the senior attorney, Tom Tavares-Finson, who described the police’s comments as “highly irresponsible”.
“The presentation by the Observer yesterday reflected just another attempt by the police and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to prejudice the appeal of Mr Palmer,” Tavares-Finson said.
“We note that the source of the information is reported as being anonymous, but we recognise the hand of a particular individual at the Corporate Communication Network,” Tavares-Finson added.
“No meeting was ever held between Mr Palmer and any police officer nor was Mr Palmer ever asked by any police officer to give them any information. That is a lie,” the attorney said, as he disputed other assertions made in the front page article.
“We are confident that we will, regardless of the machinations of the police, get a fair hearing at the Court of Appeal,” Tavares-Finson said.
UPDATE 1: News Journalists get death threats after publishing claims and releasing voice note evidence from Vybz Kartel’s murder trial.
Death threats have been made against the lives of two journalists for their reporting on the Vybz Kartel case.
Jamaica Observer Crime/Court Desk Editor Karyl Walker and Nationwide News Network reporter/producer Abka Fitz-Henley have been identified as the reporters whose lives have been threatened.
Yesterday, Walker received several threatening calls on his cellular phone making reference to yesterday’s Sunday Observer lead story that carried no by-line.
Walker calmly told the caller that the only article he had in the paper was one about problems in Port Royal.
However, the caller insisted that it was Walker who wrote the story, saying that he knew his writing style.
In the case of Fitz-Henley, he was threatened shortly after Nationwide aired the voice notes that were used by the prosecution in convicting the artiste and three co-accused — Shawn ‘Shawn Storm’ Campbell, Kahira Jones and Andre St John — for Williams’ murder.
In the voice notes, a man, whose voice has been attributed to Vybz Kartel could be heard issuing death threats if Williams did not recover two guns that were stolen while in his care.
The explosive voice notes were taken from Vybz Kartel’s phone. They were compiled into a 10-minute-long package with musical interludes and narrated by Fitz-Henley.
Yesterday, Nationwide boss and senior journalist Cliff Hughes confirmed the threat against Fitz-Henley.
The journalists aren’t the only ones to be threatened as a result of the Vybz Kartel matter.
Sergeant Patrick Linton, the former cybercrime boss, who gave technical evidence in the matter, had received threats and there was an attempt to firebomb his house.
The director of public prosecutions and her team who handled the case also received death threats.
The convicts were sentenced to life imprisonment with Kartel ordered to serve 35 years at hard labour before becoming eligible for parole, Campbell and Jones are to each serve 25 years before the possibility of parole, and St John is to serve 30 years before he’s eligible for parole.
UPDATE 2: VYBZ Kartel asks his fans to stop threats on Journalists
Entertainer Vybz Kartel through his legal team Monday issued a call for his fans to refrain from threatening journalists.
Kartel’s plea came after two journalists, Observer’s Karyl Walker and Nationwide News’ Abka Fitzhenley, reported receiving cell phone threats on Sunday.
“I appeal to any misguided individual or individuals who may think it appropriate to seek to threaten or intimidate anyone, to stop it,” Kartel said in his statement.
“Such action is not helping me or my fellow appellants and is playing into the hands of the police and others who are seeking to discredit me and prejudice the fair hearing of my appeal.”
More on Kartel’s statement later.