Lawyer In Vybz Kartel Case Surprised By Privy Council Ruling

Vybz Kartel's appeal to UK Privy Council remains unpredictable says attorney

Vybz Kartel
Vybz Kartel heading to court 2014

A Jamaican attorney Oswest Senior-Smith says incarcerated dancehall artist Vybz Kartel’s murder appeal at the Privy Council should not be speculated on as the outcome can go either way even though the court denied his application for fresh evidence earlier this week.

Vybz Kartel, born Adidja Palmer, is being represented by prominent attorney Isat Buchanan, but the case is being watched closely by fans and even other attorneys.

“What I can say is that in my few years, I have never seen the Privy Council make a ruling of that nature before without addressing the substantive case at the same time. I have never come across that,” the attorney said.

Senior-Smith, the defense attorney for Kartel’s co-convicted, Andre St John, during the Court of Appeal matter, said that speculations are premature at this time.

“I do know that when we argued in the Court of Appeal, we thought that our arguments had great merit and no doubts some of those arguments, or arguments of a similar nature, will be presented to the Privy Council. So there might very well be [a] success. But you can’t tell at this stage at all,” Senior-Smith said.

Smith-West and other lawyers were successful in some ways in challenging the judgment, but the court only shaved two years off of Kartel’s sentence, something Senior-Smith gives some hope for the artist as the Privy Council might rule differently in support of the artist.

Earlier this week, the artist’s November 2021 application to introduce fresh evidence in his ongoing appeal before the Privy Council was denied. However, his appeal of the murder conviction, which was filed in November 2020, is still to be heard by the appellate court.

It’s not unusual that a court might turn down an application to add fresh evidence as appeals are not meant to be trials but instead focus on facts, law, and even possible procedural errors.

Vybz Kartel had also reacted to the application being turned down as he blasted media reports that reported that he lost his appeal.

“Like I’ve always said, its like the Star just takes up random people off the streets and turn them into reporters but tell the badmind Jamaica media #TheCometsComing,” Vybz Kartel Muzik label page.

A date for the appeal hearing is not available yet.