Incarcerated dancehall artiste Vybz Kartel and his co-accused are all hoping to spend the Yuletide season at home with their families.
Bert Samuels, who is representing Kartel’s co-accused, Shawn Storm, told THE WEEKEND STAR that his client remains optimistic and anxious that the appeal verdict will be announced before the end of the year and will be in his favour.
“It is now one year and six months since the court reserved, so my client anxiety is heightening. He is in high spirits and is hoping that he will not have to spend Christmas where he is, but will be able to rejoin his family,” Samuels said.
Like most of their supporters, Samuels believes that it is due time to hear whether or not the ‘Gaza Don’ and his co-accused would be freed.
“The time has come…that is all I will say,” he said.
In nearly five days of legal submissions that took place last summer, the attorneys for Kartel and his three co-convicts argued that their right to a fair trial was prejudiced by a number of factors. Among them, the admission of ‘contaminated’ evidence during their 17-week murder trial. Chief among the ‘contaminated’ evidence was a BlackBerry message that was lifted from the deejay’s mobile phone. During the appeal, the prosecution argued that the integrity of the evidence remains intact and asked the judges to treat the message as an admission to murder.
Vybz Kartel, given name Adidja Palmer, along with fellow entertainers Shawn Storm, Andre St John, and Kahira Jones were found guilty in 2014 of the 2011 murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams. The trial lasted for 65 days.
They were all given mandatory life sentences but the Rampin Shop deejay was ordered to serve 35 years before being eligible for parole.
Campbell, Jones and St John were ordered to each serve 25 years before they become eligible for parole.