Kartel & Co-Accused Score Early Victory of First Day of Appeal

Dancehall star, Vybz Kartel, and his three co-appellants high-profile appeal of their 2014 murder convictions received a major boost today.

The Court of Appeal this afternoon accepted an application by their lawyers for four pieces of new evidence to be considered in the appeal.

Kartel, Andre St. John, Kahira Jones and Shawn Storm, were found guilty in April 2014 of murdering Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams at a house in Havendale, St. Andrew.

Among the pieces of evidence which the Court said will be considered during the appeal is a statement by the main witness whose testimony helped in sending Kartel to prison.

That statement was not considered during the 2014 trial.

In the statement, the main witness said he and Lizard went to Kartel’s Havendale home at half past 8:00 in the evening.

During the trial the witness said that he and Lizard went to the premises at approximately 5:00 in the afternoon.

The Appeal Court also allowed an application by lawyers for Kartel and his co-appellants for an affidavit by Shawn Storm to be allowed into evidence.

During that affidavit Storm said he was excluded from a discussion in the judge’s chambers about the trial jury being potentially contaminated.

The Appeal Court also allowed an application by Kartel’s lawyers for two separate statements given by members of the trial jury panel to be considered during the appeal.

Attorneys Bert Samuels along with Queen’s Counsel Tom Tavares Finson and Valerie Neita Robertson submitted arguments for the new pieces of evidence to be considered.

Court of Appeal President, Justice Dennis Morrison along with Justices Frank Williams and Patrick Brooks indicated that the new evidence will be considered.

This, despite objection from the lead prosecutor, Senior Deputy DPP, Jeremy Taylor.

An upbeat Mr. Samuels spoke to the media outside the Appeal Court on King Street in Downtown Kingston.

Mr. Samuels also argued in Court today that massive publicity surrounding voice notes which were first aired on Nationwide 90 FM may affect his clients’ chances of getting a fair hearing should the Appeal Court order that a retrial take place.

The main witness had testified that the voice notes were sent by Kartel. The Appeal process is to continue on Monday. Final arguments are to be completed by Friday.

Mr. Samuels says what transpired in the Court of Appeal today was encouraging.

Prosecutor Taylor declined to comment.

Fans of Kartel were disappointed this morning when it became clear that the man they call the World Boss would not be attending the appeal hearing.

Queen’s Counsel Neita Robertson says the artiste whose given name is Adidja Azim Palmer is hoping for the best.

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