Vybz Kartel’s highly anticipated appeal verdict is still pending.
The Dancehall superstar, whose given name is Adidja Palmer, along with fellow entertainer Shawn Storm, Andre St John, and Kahira Jones were found guilty in 2014 of the 2011 murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams after a trial lasted for 65 days.
They were all given mandatory life sentences with the self-proclaimed “Worl’Boss”, 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.
Last summer, they made an appeal against their murder convictions in the Supreme Court. In nearly five days of legal submissions, the attorneys for Kartel and his three co-convicts argued that their right to a fair trial was prejudiced by a number of factors.
Among them, the admission of ‘contaminated’ evidence during their 17-week murder trial. Chief among the ‘contaminated’ evidence was a BlackBerry message that was lifted from the deejay’s mobile phone. During the appeal, the Prosecution argued that the integrity of the evidence remains intact and asked the judges to treat the message as an admission to murder.
Almost a year later, a blanket of uncertainty still hovers over their appeal case, as the date when the verdict will be announced remains unknown.
Vybz Kartel’s attorney, Valerie Neita-Robertson says they have not gotten any update from Court of Appeal however she plans on making an enquire next week.
“We have to wait for the Court of Appeal to hand down their judgement. We have not been told by them that it is ready, so we continue to wait,” Neita-Robertson said.
Bert Samuels who is representing Dancehall entertainer Shawn Storm said the 11 months wait for the appeal verdict is normal. “We are under so much pressure from the client, but we want the court to give us a good judgement, so we do not take on the court,” he said.
Samuels added that Shawn Storm is anxious to be vindicated and believes that he has good grounds for his appeal. “He is hoping that his appeal will be allowed, and there will be no order for re-trial,” he added.