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Vybz Kartel’s murder conviction has been overturned

today15/03/2024 8

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Vybz Kartel’s murder conviction has been overturned.

The Jamaican dancehall artist, real name Adidja Palmer, was convicted in 2014 of killing an associate Clive “Lizard” Williams in a row over a missing gun in a high-profile murder trial in the Caribbean island which spanned 64 days.

He was sentenced to life in prison with an order to serve a minimum of 35 years in jail, which was later reduced to 32-and-a-half years.

An appeal against the conviction, heard by the Privy Council in London, which argued that a juror accused of bribery should be removed from the trial has now been successful.

London’s Privy Council is the final court of appeal in Jamaica and some other countries in the Commonwealth.

The murder is said to have happened in August 2011, when Cilve Williams and another man named Lamar Chow were summoned to Vybz Kartel’s house in Havendale, Kingston, after failing to return two unlicensed firearms belonging to the artist at an agreed time.

The house burned down days later and Clive Williams has never been seen alive again. At the trial, Chow testified to seeing Williams lying motionless on the ground. A body has never been recovered.

Kartel was convicted alongside three other men Shawn Campbell, Kahira Jones and Andre St John, who have never admitted guilt for the crime.

Their lawyers said the judge had not properly handled the trial following allegations that a juror had tried to bribe other jurors to make not guilty verdicts.

These claims came to light on the final day of the trial in 2014, and followed another juror being discharged. If the judge had discharged the juror accused of bribery then then he trial would not have been able to continue. He chose to carry on with that juror still included in the verdict.

In London, Judge Lord Lloyd-Jones said allowing this to happen was “fatal to the safety of the convictions”. He added that the Jamaican judge’s directions to the jury on how to navigate the issues were “inadequate to save the situation”.

Vybz Kartel’s official Instagram posted a screenshot of the BBC report, writing: “Victorious!!!!”

It will now be the decision of the Court of Appeal in Jamaica if Vybz Kartel and his three co-defendants are to stand trial again.

[Via: BBC & Sky News]

Patrick Hinton is Mixmag’s Editor & Digital Director, follow him on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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