Vybz Kartel’s legal team is refuting reports that the deejay won his appeal trial.
On Monday, April 1st several blogs and Dancehall vloggers on YouTube announced that the incarcerated Dancehall superstar had won his appeal and would be released from prison next month.
The story instantly sent Gaza Nation fans into a frenzy on social media. However quick checks with Vybz Kartel’s team revealed that the story was a fake news, “This is clearly a malicious hoax and April fools day prank started by desperate local entertainment bloggers,” a Kartel rep said.
The rep confirmed that the appeal court has not yet announced a verdict in Vybz Kartel’s trial, “Whoever started this stupid April Fools prank should cut it out there is nothing funny about it, and I mean nothing whatsoever, cut that sh*t out man,” they continued.
Vybz Kartel, whose given name is Adidja Palmer, along with fellow entertainer Shawn Storm, Andre St John, and Kahira Jones were found guilty in 2014 of the 2011 murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams after a trial lasted for 65 days.
They were all given mandatory life sentences with the self-proclaimed “Worl’Boss”, ordered to serve 35 years before he is eligible for parole. Campbell, Jones and St John were ordered to each serve 25 years before they become eligible for parole.
Last summer, they made an appeal against their murder convictions in the Supreme Court. In nearly five days of legal submissions, 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.
However months later, a blanket of uncertainty still hovers over their appeal case, as the date when the verdict will be announced remains unknown.
According to Vybz Kartel’s attorney, Bert Samuels says the waiting time the team is now facing is not unusual.
“This appeal is 10 times the size of a normal appeal, and, therefore, it will take much longer than the usual nine months that I have to wait to hear something. The trial lasted four and a half months, the average murder case lasts two weeks. There were 6,500 pages of evidence presented that they will have to now comb through again,” he told The Star. “But the moment I do (know the date), trust me, it will spread like wildfire.”