Judge issues warning to media as Vybz Kartel matter kicks off Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

The hearing on whether entertainer Vybz Kartel and three other men should be retried for the alleged murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams’ got under way in the Court of Appeal on Monday, with Justice Marva McDonald-Bishop issuing a warning for the media to observe court rules in covering the matter.

The hearing is expected to last for five days. 

Justice McDonald-Bishop along with Justices Paulette Williams and David Fraser will decide the case.

The judge argued on Monday that the court “will not hesitate” to take action against persons who breach the rules in providing coverage of the hearing.

She said this as she also cautioned members of the media against reporting in such a way that might inflame public passion in the matter.

Members of the Jamaica Defence Force maintain a presence outside the Court of Appeal in the busy downtown Kingston district during the hearing on Monday. (Photo: Loop News)

Following those words, legal representatives for Vybz Kartel, whose given name is Adidja Palmer, and the other three accused—Andre St John, Kahira Jones, and Shawn ‘Shawn Storm’ Campbell—proceeded to present arguments as to why they were against a retrial.

Vybz Kartel, St John, Jones, and Shawn Campbell were charged with Williams’ murder in 2011. 

In one presentation on Monday, the Court of Appeal heard from Vybz Kartel’s family, who claimed that the popular entertainer cannot go through a retrial on health grounds.

The arguments were filed in an affidavit.

Kartel’s attorneys submitted an affidavit from the entertainer’s son, whose given name is Adidja Jahiem Palmer.

The young Palmer said in the affidavit that his father’s incarceration has had a negative effect on the family.

In another argument, attorneys representing Campbell argued that their client will not be able to get a fair retrial.

The attorneys tendered an affidavit on Campbell’s behalf, which spoke to coverage done on the case by social media influencers.

The affidavit made the argument that bloggers with no journalistic training have coloured public perception of the matter.

The matter resumed just after midday after a brief break in the proceedings.