Vybz Kartel highly anticipated appeal trial has been pushed back to a new date.
The dancehall artist’s appeal trial was originally set for February 19, 2018, but the case has been pushed back to July 9th next year. Vybz Kartel team of lawyers led by Tom Tavares-Finson filed a motion asking the appeal court judges for more time to prepare for the case. The motion was approved and a new date has been agreed upon. This means that the Gazanation deejay will have to wait an additional five months to know his fate.
Three weeks has been set aside for the July appeal trial where the defense will make its case that the artist was not given a fair trial due to the numerous issues with the case such as evidence tampering and witness intimidation. The prosecution team will also make their case for the conviction to stay in place by citing the numerous evidence against the four co-accused, Vybz Kartel, real name Adidja Palmer, Shawn “Storm” Campbell, Kahira Jones, and Andre St John.
All four men are serving life imprisonment with Vybz Kartel getting the longest sentence before he gets a parole hearing. He will have to serve at least 35 years and by that time he will be 72 years old. His dancehall protege Shawn Storm and close friend Kahira Jones will have to serve 25 years before parole, while St John will have to serve 15 years minimum. The four men have been behind bars since 2011 and were convicted in 2014, which means they would have already served six years. All four men have maintained their innocence.
Despite his incarceration for half a decade, Vybz Kartel continues to dominate dancehall with his music. At one point he was under investigation by the correctional department for illegally recording music in prison. But he is still putting out a consistent supply of new music.