Vybz Kartel Fights for Freedom: London Appeal Challenges Murder Conviction

Jamaican dancehall icon Vybz Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, is making a final push for freedom, appealing his murder conviction in a London court.

Sentenced to life in prison in 2014 for the disappearance of his associate, ‘Lizard’ Williams, Vybz claims his conviction is unsafe due to two key arguments.

First, Jury Tampering. The defense alleges attempts to bribe jurors with $3,200 to find Vybz innocent, potentially swaying the jury and jeopardizing fairness.

Second, dubious Evidence. Vybz lawyers argue that incriminating messages used against him were obtained illegally and shouldn’t have been admitted in court.

Vybz Kartel, a renowned musician with collaborations from other music icons like Jay-Z and Rihanna, was arrested in 2011 and has been imprisoned since.

After a lengthy 64-day trial, the longest in Jamaican history, he and three co-defendants were convicted in 2014.

The prosecution relied on messages sent by Williams and another co-defendant, alleging Williams was murdered over missing guns.

Appealing, Vybz legal team claims the judge mishandled the jury bribery allegations, potentially creating bias in the jury. They further argue that the incriminating messages were obtained illegally and shouldn’t have been used as evidence.

“The evidence in the case against all the appellants was overwhelming, in particular in the case of Mr Palmer,” Peter Knox said in court filings.

On their part, prosecutors maintain that the evidence against Kartel, particularly, was overwhelming and his conviction was justified. They argue any irregularities in the trial were minor and didn’t impact the outcome.

The appeal concluded on Thursday, with a ruling expected at a later date.


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