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Vybz Kartel’s Appeal To UK’s Privy Council Underway, Defense Team Wraps Arguments

Vybz Kartel and Shawn Storm

Vybz Kartel’s defense team is moving full speed ahead with oral arguments to UK’s Privy Council.

Following the weekend release of Vybz Kartel’s much anticipated album “Of Dons and Divas,” which is now number one on the iTunes Reggae Chart, the Worl’ Boss is back to business—ending his legal woes once and for all. Last week, it was confirmed that Kartel had retained new counsel, attorney-at-law Isat Buchanan. It was also revealed that Mr. Buchanan had officially commenced appeal proceedings, applying on behalf of Vybz Kartel, real name Adidjah Palmer, and his three co-accused, for leave to bring the matter before the Privy Council.

On Friday, April 3, the incarcerated deejay and his co-convicts Kahira Jones, Shawn’ Storm’ Campbell, and Andre St John lost the appeal against their 2014 murder conviction and life sentences for the 2011 murder of Clive’ Lizard Williams. Returning to the very Court where their appeal was dismissed just months ago, the hearing for the four got underway at the local Court of Appeal via video link yesterday.

Appearing in the lower Court before Justice Patrick Brooks, the legal teams made their presentations over two days, seeking permission to take the matter overseas to have the convictions overturned Though it’s unclear when the case will end, attorney for Shawn Storm, Bert Samuels, shared minor details of the proceedings with The Star. “It started with Bianca Samuels for Shawn Campbell; John Clarke for Kahira Jones and Andre St John and Isat Buchanan for Adidjah Palmer. They are continuing their presentation and could occupy an hour tomorrow [today].”

Following the attorney’s submissions, Queen’s Counsel Jeremy Taylor will then give his remarks, which will determine the overall duration of the case. The UK based Privy Council is the fifth and final tier of Jamaica’s appellate court system whose decision could quash the sentences, finally making the “Fever” deejay a free man.

If the accused are not granted leave to pursue the matter by the Court whose decision is in question, then the alternative is to approach the Privy Council Board directly. The Privy Council’s website has clear guidelines on what type of cases they will accept and whether ot not Vybz Kartel’s muder case falls into that category will be up to the court to decide. With great public interest involved in the case, it’s unlikely the the highest court will rule not to hear the case.

The incarcerated hitmaker, described as “Jamaica’s national treasure and musical lifeline” by his lawyer, has remained musically relevant as well as openly critical of the Jamaican law enforcement and judiciary. He has also been unwavering in the steps to secure his freedom, changing counsel at least three times since the start of his debacle. In his first interview in four years with Billboard last week, the Teacha let on that he was confident in this last legal step. “I would like to say re the Privy Council that I am going to be out soon. Law and statute are what the council deals in, not corruption. The appeal hearing in Jamaica, just like the trial, was a joke, a kangaroo court, a circus,” he said.

Although their appeal was thrown out on April 3, the Court of Appeal did admit that an oversight was made during the original trial by Justice Campbell, where time already served had not been properly considered. Based on that, the accused have had their sentences reduced, but they’re clearly placing their bet on the British, pressing along on the path to full pardon and exoneration.