Vybz Kartel and his co-accused are “elated” after being granted leave by the Jamaican Court of Appeal to appeal his conviction at the UK’s Privy Council. This according to popular attorney Bert Samuels who also anticipates a “Christmas” verdict as reactions to yesterday’s development continue to pour in.
The incarcerated hitmaker as well as Shawn “Storm Campbell, Andre St. John and Kahira Jones have been serving life sentences since April 3, 2014, for the 2011 murder of Clive “Lizard” Williams. Following years of delays and denied appeals, the team was yesterday granted permission to take their appeal to the UK based court. They anticipate an early victory as they assert the major violations in the conviction of the four men.
“The team of Sean Campbell and Adidja Palmer and the others are very elated because we have been granted conditional leave to appeal the decision of the Court of Appeal to the Privy Council. We’ve been happy that there are some jury grounds and some admission of evidence grounds which we have been permitted to go to the Privy Council with. The Court of Appeal has seen it necessary that those grounds need to be resolved by another Court, so it’s a very good day for us and we’re looking forward to victory in the Privy Council”, Samuels told TVJ news.
When pressed on how soon he expected to matter to be heard and resolved, Samuels added, “We have a month in which we must prepare the papers and the bundles and send them on to the Privy Council. If it is expedited, we’re looking for a Christmas decision.”
Though it’s welcome news for the litigators, it’s just the beginning of their daunting journey to convince Jamaica’s final appeal court why the four men should be exonerated.
Attorney for Shawn Storm, Bianca Samuels, feels if they’re successful in that regard, “there’ll be significant development in the law and also that is very exciting”.
“I’m very happy with the decision. We worked very hard on this motion, in particular, we wanted to make it clear there were questions of constitutional significance which needed to be answered by our highest appeal court. And, there were questions which arose from the complexity of the case which tested the boundaries of the law. And so, I’m happy that the Court of Appeal realised that we needed answers in that regard — that they were gaps that needed to be filled”, Samuels told the Jamaica Observer.
Vybz Kartel, in August, had expressed frustration at the delay in leave being granted by the Jamaican courts but he remained confident. In a June interview with Billboard Magazine, his first in four years, the singer expressed his enthusiasm.
“I would like to say re the Privy Council that I am going to be out soon. Law and statute are what the council deals in, not corruption. The appeal hearing in Jamaica, just like the trial, was a joke, a kangaroo court, a circus.”
The entire group is understandably in high spirits to tackle the highest tier of the Jamaican Court System. “There are a number of steps which we need to take before we get there, but we’re on our way,” Bert Samuels added.
Kartel is being represented in the appeal by attorneys Isat Buchanan and Alessandro LaBeach, and will be eligible for parole in 2046 if his conviction is upheld.