Still no date – Vybz Kartel’s lawyer says lengthy wait for verdict isn’t unusual

A blanket of uncertainty still hovers over the Vybz Kartel appeal case, as the date when the verdict will be announced remains unknown.

When the appeal hearing ended in July, anxious supporters of the convicted deejay were told they would have to wait until December to hear if Kartel and his three co-convicts would be freed.

Seven months later, and supporters are no closer to hearing whether or not their beloved deejay will be freed.

In giving THE STAR an update on the case, Kartel’s lawyer, Bert Samuels, made mention of a recent documentary on FOX News aired on the incarcerated deejay. He said the overseas news station may have overextended when they indicated that a verdict in the deejay’s appeal case may be reached in a matter of weeks.

Samuels described his client’s case as one that pushed the barriers of a normal appeal. He also said that based on the nature of the trial, which ended in 2014, 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 said.

“But the moment I do (know the date), trust me, it will spread like wildfire.”


In nearly five days of legal submissions that took place last summer, 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.

Kartel and three of his four co-accused were found guilty in 2014 of the 2011 murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams. The trial lasted for 65 days.

Vybz Kartel, Shawn Storm, Kahira Jones, and Andre St John were all given mandatory life sentences with Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, 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.

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