Vybz Kartel Upbeat About Release From Prison, Judge To Rule On Thursday

The content originally appeared on: Urban Islandz

Vybz Kartel leaving court 2014

Vybz Kartel and two of his co-accused are back before the courts in Jamaica weeks after defense attorneys filed a habeas corpus application for his release from prison. We’re told that the artist is upbeat about a possible release from prison.

Kartel, real name Adidja Palmer, is now in his 13th year behind bars and 10th year into his life sentence. However, the dancehall legend scored a massive win in March this year when the UK Privy Council made a landmark ruling to squash his 2014 conviction due to juror misconduct. Urban Islandz reported last year that juror Livingston Caine was sentenced to serve a year in prison for attempting to bribe other members of the jury.

Defense attorneys have long argued that the judge should’ve ended the trial in a mistrial but instead chose to proceed under directives from the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP’s office. Former DPP Paula Llewellyn argued that it’s not uncommon for her office to try cases where the jury is compromised. However, defense lawyers called the move a miscarriage of justice for the four men convicted for the murder.

Nevertheless, in its ruling earlier this year, the Privy Council did not dismiss the charges. Instead, it referred the case back to the Court of Appeal in Jamaica for further ruling on whether to grant a new trial or dismiss the case against the four men, which would immediately see the dancehall artist and two of his co-accused, Shawn Storm and Kahira Jonez, walk free. One of the four men, Andre St John, was convicted of a separate murder and sentenced to life, which means he will remain in prison regardless of the outcome of this case.

Following the Privy Council’s ruling, Vybz Kartel says he feels vindicated and confident that the Court of Appeal will rule in his favor. Sources inside his camp also told Urban Islandz that they are already making preparations for his release from prison.

“A grave injustice was done to me and my co-accused in the original trial… and my cries were heard in the land’s highest court,” Kartel said in a lengthy statement forwarded to Urban Islandz.

“I am confident that the Court of Appeal in Jamaica will do the right thing in the name of equity, fairness, and justice and free us,” Kartel added. “Some people have expressed their concern to me that a retrial may be ordered, but to them I say (albeit with my limited knowledge of the law), ‘What is there to retry?’”

Defense attorneys have also argued that a retrial would not only be costly but also unwarranted given the length of time that has already passed since the original trial. Another hearing is set for June 10 when a judge is expected to rule on the Privy Council matter.

A judge is expected to rule on Kartel’s habeas corpus application on Thursday, May 30, 2024.

The question remains now, will Vybz Kartel be released from prison?

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