Hopes of an early release from prison for dancehall legend, Vybz Kartel, took a significant dent after his appeal regarding his 2014 murder conviction was officially rejected on Friday.
The drawn-out appeal – officially filed in 2014 but not tried until 2018, was turned away by the Court of Appeal via a conference call initiation due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent local bans on large public gatherings. That call involved the legal team of Kartel, real name Adidja Palmer, and his co-convicts (Shawn Storm, Kahira Jones, Andre St. John), prosecutors and a three-judge panel. Each of the co-convicts also had their lengthy sentences upheld.
One of the key members of Kartel’s legal team, Valerie Neita Robertson, indicated in a presser following the decision that they plan to take their appeal to the Privy Council in England once they have successfully sought leave from the Court of Appeal. However, that process could take a least a year.
However, Neita Robertson said that the sentences of Kartel and his co-accused could be reduced as the court is seriously considering that option.
Vybz Kartel has been imprisoned since September 2011 and was convicted of the killing of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams in the spring of 2014 following an incident in Havendale, St. Andrew.