Vybez Kartel

Jamaican Dancehall artist Vybez Kartel was sentenced 35-years in jail in 2014 for the murder of Clive Lizard Williams.

The 48-year old was convicted along three others namely; Shawn Campbell, Kahira Jones and Andre St John, over Clive’s death that occurred in August 2011, but his body was never found. Clive was Vybez Kartel’s close associate.

The four were accused of killing Clive after he failed to return two unlicensed firearms belonging to Kartel upon the agreed time. According to Lamar Chow, who was with Clive at the time of the murder, they were summoned to  Kartel’s house where they were attacked and the last thing he saw was Clive Williams, who was never seen alive again, lying motionless on the ground.

Days later, the house was burnt down and the body was never recovered.

There is however hope of Vybez being released from prison after a decade following a decision by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London, but he could face a retrial of the murder charges.

On Thursday, the court overturned the conviction of murder against Vybez Kartel, “ruling that the 2014 guilty verdict was tainted by allegations that one juror attempted to bribe others.”

The Appeal Court ruled that the Judge who handled the murder trial made “fatal” error by proceeding with the verdict, despite the bribery reports.

“There should have been no question of allowing Juror X to continue to serve on the jury. Allowing Juror X to continue to serve on the jury is fatal to the safety of the convictions which followed. This was an infringement of the defendants’ fundamental right to a fair hearing by an independent and impartial court,” the Appeal Court said.

The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is mandated with making decisions of last-resort appeals from countries that are members of the Commonwealth, including Jamaica.


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