Lawyer bats for no retrial in Shawn Storm, Kartel murder case Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Senior attorney-at-law Bert Samuels, whose team represented Shawn “Shawn Storm” Campbell before the UK-based Privy Council in the Vybz Kartel murder appeal case, has expressed his elation that the convictions have been quashed.

At the same time, Samuels is insisting that the four defendants – Campbell, Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, Andre St John, and Kahira Jones – should not be tried again following the ruling Thursday morning by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC).

Samuels had previously said he was 80 per cent certain the convictions would have been overturned. He said that on February 15, the second of two days of hearing before the JCPC.

The JCPC, in quashing the murder convictions for which the men were sentenced to life in prison for the 2011 murder of their friend, Clive “Lizard” Williams, sent the matter back to Jamaica’s Court of Appeal to decide whether there should be a retrial.

If the lower court decides against a retrial, the four men who have been behind bars since their arrest on September 30, 2011 will walk free.

The JCPC quashed the convictions on the grounds of juror misconduct.

“We’re elated by the verdict; we have been vindicated. What we argued in the Court of Appeal in Jamaica was refused, but it succeeded in the next court (the Privy Council), so we feel that yes, we were right at all times; it’s a good feeling for myself and my team,” Samuels told Loop News shortly after the 18-page judgement was handed down Thursday.

“Going forward, it’s all up to Shawn Campbell, what kind of team he wants (to represent him); it’s his decision, but whoever is doing it will now be able to say there should be no retrial,” Samuels added.

The veteran attorney said there are several factors why the men should not be tried again.

“These relate to how long the persons have been in custody, the length of the trial and the cost to the defendants to find new lawyers,” Samuels explained.

He also pointed to what he described as the pretrial publicity, should a new trial be ordered, and adverse publicity that is in the public domain about the case.

“Those are the main factors against a retrial,” Samuels stated.

In its conclusion, the JCPC said:

“The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council has concluded that the appeals should be allowed and the appellants’ convictions should be quashed on the ground of juror misconduct, and that the case should be remitted to the Court of Appeal of Jamaica to decide whether to order a retrial of the appellants for the murder of the deceased.”

The justices who heard the appeal are: Lord Reed, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lord Briggs, Lord Burrows and Lady Simler.