Before the 31 In July it will be decided if there is a new trial for Vybz Kartel

Vybz Kartel

This Tuesday 18 June concluded the six days of arguments in the Court of Appeals of Jamaica regarding whether or not to hold a new trial against the dancehall star Vybz Kartel and three others accused of the alleged murder of Clive “Lizard” Williams in 2011.

This instance was held after the decision of the Privy Council, the highest court of justice of the Caribbean island, that last March decided to annul Kartel's sentence, Shawn “Storm” Campbell, Cairo Jones and Andre St. John, who in 2014 were sentenced to life in prison for Williams' crime, on former partner.

In addition to annulling the convictions, The Privy Council delegated to the Court of Appeals the definition of a possible new trial and, for it, from the 10 June -and during 6 days- Both the Prosecutor's Office and the defense lawyers presented their arguments in the aforementioned court.

In the case of the Public Ministry, the acting director Claudette Thompson argued for a new trial, while defense attorneys seek to dismiss the case entirely.

While, a panel of judges composed of Marva McDonald-Bishop, Paulette Williams Y David Fraser will deliberate on the case considering factors such as the availability of witnesses, any harm to the accused, the interest of justice and the public interest.

The Court of Appeals announced that it will issue a ruling on the eventual new trial before the 31 July and Justice McDonald-Bishop said the court is committed to achieving a timely resolution, considering all issues, including Kartel's health, whose real name is Adidja Palmer.

“The question of a new trial is never easy for a court of law, especially when it involves serious crimes and long delays. It will take us time, but the court is aware of the need to expedite this matter”, said Justice McDonald-Bishop, according to slogan Dancehall Mag.

The judge emphasized that “the court's ruling is reserved. Given the importance of the case, even if we come to a decision, we cannot give our decision without our reasons for it. And that's where the delay usually comes from.. But we are aware of all the problems and especially the health problem of one of the appellants”.

The artist has heart complications due to his diagnosis of Graves' disease and his condition is rapidly deteriorating while he is behind bars, in fact his lawyer, Isat Buchanan, submitted an affidavit from his doctor that said Kartel's heart was functioning at 50% due to the impact of the illness he suffers.

The arguments in favor of Kartel

Among the main arguments made during the arguments by defense attorneys to oppose a new trial is thatand the accused have already passed 13 years in prison and also two violations of constitutional rights.

These violations have to do with the misconduct of the jury in the original trial that led the Privy Council to overturn the convictions, as well as a violation of their right to be tried within a reasonable time.

Likewise, They maintain that given the time that has passed since the first trial, more of 10 years, It is very difficult to find witnesses and an impartial jury for the trial, which would make it difficult to carry out a fair trial.

On the other hand, The judges of the Court of Appeals expressed their apprehensions about the possible delay of a new trial, Well, this could only be done in 2025 due to the workload of the Jamaican courts, which could eventually again violate the constitutional rights of the accused.

With everything, next month it will be determined once and for all whether Vybz Kartel will be released or face a new trial.

Kartel's defense recently sought his release through a habeas corpus, but the Jamaican justice system rejected the presentation.