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Vybz Kartel Trial: Prosecution Chides Defense, Ask For Justice For Clive Williams

Vybz Kartel 2

Lead prosecutor in the Vybz Kartel murder trial, Jeremy Taylor, chided the defense over arguments of a conspiracy against the accused men.

During his lengthy closing arguments, Taylor told the jury that the evidence presented were clear and that there is only one victim in the case, and that is Clive Lloyd Williams, aka Lizard.

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“How would you feel if a family member had been killed and the body not found?… Would you not want an answer?” Taylor asked the 11-member jury.

Taylor said the case is not a conspiracy but one that is seeking justice for someone that was murdered.

“You have heard it’s a conspiracy… a cook up by the police, shouted so often by the defense that you are alomost tempted to say Amen, Hallelujah or in this case “Awoah.”

The lead prosecutor also took the jury back to the damning text messages and voice notes evidence that detailed Clive Williams demise on August 16, 2011. He said Lizard was killed to send a message to those around Vybz Kartel who handed his guns.

“You do not fool with Adidja Palmer’s guns,” Jeremy Taylor said. “I give you a ting fi lock, don’t tell me foolishness. You really wonder why they didn’t beat him up. Beat him up and take money from him. If they had beat him up none of us would be here.”

Taylor also questioned why only Vybz Kartel sister came to court to give character testimony on his behalf. He asked where are his former associates and gaza fans are.

At that point Vybz Kartel grew a bit uneasy in court but managed to choke up a laugh when two of the defense attorneys said something to him.

Yesterday tensions ran high outside the court as police cordon off a section in the vicinity of the Supreme Court in Downtown Kingston. Kartel’s supporters turned out in their numbers. The barricades has since been removed.

Vybz Kartel, born Adidja Palmer, Shawn “Storm” Campbell, Kahira Jones, André St John, and Shane Williams are on trial for the alleged murder of Clive “Lizard” Williams.

The Crown says Williams was beaten to death on August 16, 2011 at the dancehall star’s house in Havendale over two missing firearm.

His body has yet to be found.

 
 
 
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  • terrence

    Written by Keiran King, The Jamaica Gleaner
    19/02/2014 10:57 AM

    ON TRIAL: Vybz Kartel

    HERE’S WHAT you need to know: Dancehall artist Vybz Kartel is on trial for murder. Arrested at the height of his lucrative international career, he has been legally incarcerated for 30 months awaiting the decision now before the court.

    While 11 souls determine his innocence or guilt, in the court of public opinion, a larger trial is simultaneously taking place. The defendant? The justice system itself, charged again and again with inefficiency, corruption, and prejudice. Call it a labouring class-action suit, on the books forever, with two million plaintiffs.

    For our disenfranchised majority, who may lack the income, literacy or leisure time to read opinion columns, social commentary arrives via dancehall music, which speaks just as eloquently, in our dominant language, and for free. Super Cat, Shabba Ranks, Bounty Killer, Ninja Man, Buju Banton, Beenie Man, Elephant Man, Sizzla, Busy Signal, Mavado, Vybz Kartel – a long line of lyrical preachers for whom, as often as not, prison is just a way station on the road to immortality and a house in the hills. They speak – powerfully, poetically, presciently – for and about the people they leave behind without leaving them behind.

    To arrest an artist is thus to martyr him, to muzzle a voice validated by millions. Hundreds storm the Supreme Court Bastille each day, clamouring for the release of their self-appointed ‘World Boss’. On the cover of his book, The Voice of the Jamaican Ghetto: Incarcerated but not Silenced, Vybz, real name Adidja Palmer, poses as civil rights icon Malcolm X. And his Twitter account channels anti-Establishment sentiment to 76,000 followers: “This is a classic case of the system vs ghetto, [the] poor [and] dancehall” and “The war [between us and] Babylon is over 400 yrs old [and] we still a [fight]”.

    This gnawing sense of injustice is responsible for our current hydra, where corruption and criminality snake from the almshouse to Gordon House, and threaten to choke our society. A failed government, according to landmark sociologist Max Weber, is one unable to maintain “a monopoly on the legitimate use of physical violence”. Let’s review the state of our state.

    Swathes of Kingston are run by area dons through equal parts fear and benevolence, leaving members of parliament a choice between collusion and impotence. Removing these garrison leaders instigates civil war, as in the bloody extraction of Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke in 2010, when uniformed officers faced armed opposition from the people they were sworn to protect.

    For their part, our police force continues to be more force than police, killing 255 men, women and children last year. The comparable number for all of Britain? Zero. British ex-cop Hamish Campbell, now assistant commissioner of the Independent Commission of Investigations, says, “There is a widespread belief that the [Jamaican] police are killing people who can’t otherwise get to the courts.”

    Why? Because our courts are impossibly backlogged, with more than 400,000 cases in the queue, some describing acts so barbaric, judges deny bail even though a potentially innocent person will live for years in an inhumane constabulary jail. To put that jaw-dropping (and officially disputed) number in perspective, if we never added another lawsuit, and cleared 10 a day, the last holographic docket would wrap up somewhere in the year 2123.

    Yes, our institutions fail, badly and regularly, so most of us have lost faith over time. But when everyone is watching, as we are now with Mr Palmer’s trial, it’s a rare opportunity to restore that faith in a single deposit. All of us – rich and poor, defence and prosecution, Babylon and badman alike – are better off when the system works. When everyone does their job, from janitor to judge, that simple but powerful display of competence has an outsize impact. It reinforces the social contract binding us in this experiment called Jamaica, and reminds us that we are, imperfectly, out of many, one people striving towards common goals. It makes us a nation.

    As Vybz Kartel offers, echoing Buju Banton and a long line of musical forebears: “The life we live, it hard and poor/ that’s why them fight ghetto yute more and more/ but ‘memba, we go on and on and on”.