Vybz Kartel’s appeal trial kicks off today in the Jamaica Court of Appeal.
The dancehall icon’s attorneys remained confident heading to court this morning where they will begin making their case why their client’s murder conviction should be overturned. Vybz Kartel and his three co-accused appeal case has been four years in the making following their conviction in March 2014. The controversial case saw the four men getting life in prison each and parole ranging from 25 to 35 years.
Vybz Kartel’s legal team, headed by Tom Tavares-Finson, filed a total of 16 grounds for their appeal. During the trial in 2014, the defense team cited several problems with the case including police officers tampering with some of the evidence and intimidating witnesses.
The lawyers argued in their appeal docs that the evidence had been severely compromised by investigators handling them and should not have been used to convict the four men. Vybz Kartel, born Adidja Palmer, Shawn “Storm” Campbell, Kahira Jones, and Andre St John, are all serving life in prison for the murder of Clive “Lizard” Williams.
Kartel will be eligible for parole after serving 35 years while Shawn Storm and Jones will be eligible after he serves 25 years. St John will have to serve 30 years before being considered for parole.
The appeal trial will last for three to four weeks and the defense will also get a chance to present their case why the four men should not be set free.