Vybz Kartel’s attorney eases fans concerned about Prime Minister Andrew Holness appointment to Privy Council while his appeal to the highest court is pending.
News of the Prime Minister’s appointment to the Queen’s Privy Council has caused fans to react with fear that the outcome of the dancehall deejay’s appeal might be affected by the politician’s appointment to the prestigious position.
The announcement was made by the Office of the Prime Minister on July 8 that the Prime Minister was appointed a “member of the Privy Council”.
The announcement was made by Jamaica’s Governor General, His Excellency, Sir Patrick Allen, who said that the appointment became effective on May 26, 2021, and that the Prime Minister is to take the oath in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen.
“su yuh a gu free #WorlBoss?” one fan asked. Another said, “Memba seh dem prison world boss without physical evidence my genna. Look into dah matter deh,” another fan commented under the Prime Minister’s announcement via his official Twitter account.
However, the Prime Minister will, in fact, not have any power to affect the outcome of Kartel’s case either positively or negatively.
According to Vybz Kartel’s attorney-at-law Isat Buchanan, the Prime Minister’s appointment is, in fact, only a political appointment.
“The Judicial committee of the privy council is the final appellate court for Jamaica. It is a separate body from the Queens Privy Council and the Jamaican Privy council that advises the Governor General in Jamaica,” he said.
He continued, “the Prime Minister is not a Judge or a lawyer, the appointment is ceremonial and seems to be an affirmation of his allegiance to the Queen as opposed to the position that Barbados has taken by removing as the head of state in that Island.”
Buchanan noted that the Prime Minister’s appointment is a welcomed one, given that he continues to represent Jamaica as an excellent statesman. However, he added that his appointment “has no bearing whatsoever on the pending appeal of Vybz Kartel and his co-accused.”
Last September, the entertainer and his co-accused were given permission to appeal their convictions at the Privy Council following a failed legal challenge at the Court of Appeal in Jamaica in April 2020.
The grounds of appeal for Kartel and his co-accused are based on arguments about how the evidence was collected, as well as jury misconduct at the Court of Appeal after a member of the Jury offered other members a bribe to release the artiste.
However, Kartel was not linked to the juror, who was later charged for perjury.
The appeal for Kartel will also raise the trial judge Justice Lennox Campbell’s decision not to discharge the Jury after the discovery of the wayward juror was discovered and charged.
Vybz Kartel is presently serving life in prison with eligibility for parole possible only after serving 32 years. He previously received a 2 ½ years discount on his sentence following his Court of Appeal trial.
Meanwhile, Vybz Kartel has previously hinted at his confidence in the United Kingdom-based Privy Council and has shared his objection to the island becoming an independent nation and removing the Queen as Head of State.
Kartel last October shared a clip from Anthony Miller during an Entertainment Report segment where he insinuated that there was more trust in the UK’s Privy Council versus Jamaican courts.
“Because what you are assured of when you’re dealing with the Privy Council is that you’re dealing with the law. With Caribbean courts, you have to wonder sometimes whether politicians are playing their games,” Miller said.
Vybz Kartel reposted the clip on his official Instagram account, endorsing Miller’s commentary and showing his preference for the Queen as head of state of Jamaica even as a figurehead.
“Anthony Miller @tvj_er aka the kartel of journalism,” he wrote. “Talk the truth nuh matter who vex. Btw GOD SAVE THE QUEEN.”
In one of the only interviews that the artist has given since being incarcerated in 2012, he said he was confident about his Privy Council appeal.
Speaking to Billboard Magazine in June 2020, he expressed confidence in the Privy Council and his challenge at that court.
“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,” said the deejay bashed the Jamaican courts speaking from the St. Catherine Adult Correctional Facility in Spanish Town, Jamaica where he is presently housed.
Despite the legal developments with his case, the artiste continues to make and release music, although there has been no confirmation that he actually makes music while in jail.
His private life has also significantly moved on as the deejay’s children grow up, and he’s now a grandfather. In 2020, the deejay’s second oldest song Likkle Addi welcomed his first child at only 15 years old.
— Andrew Holness (@AndrewHolnessJM) July 8, 2021