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Vybz Kartel Denied Bail By Supreme Court In Jamaica, Murder Charge Still Pending

Dancehall star Vybz Kartel and two of his three co-accused will remain behind bars after a judge rejected the habeas corpus application submitted by their attorneys Thursday.

Supreme Court Justice Andrea Thomas ruled that in the absence of a verdict of acquittal by the Privy Council the charge of murder remains in effect for Kartel, whose given name is Adidja Palmer, and his co-accused Shawn “Shawn Storm” Campbell and Andre St John.

In declaring that their present custodial status is not in breach of the constitution, Justice Thomas told a packed court room at the Supreme Court in downtown Kingston that, “In view of the fact that their appeal is not yet determined they should remain in custody until their appeal is concluded.

“That is until a verdict of acquittal is entered or there is a decision for a retrial,” Thomas said.

The ruling comes after an intense court battle to determine whether Kartel and the two men were being illegally detained by the state. Attorney for the men, Isat Buchanan, argued in submissions that “a conviction must exist for there to be authority to detain” the men.

Meanwhile, state attorneys argued that the quashing of the convictions by the Privy Council in March did not equate to an acquittal and only reverted the men to their pretrial status with murder charges that are still “live”. The defense lawyers had on May 13 filed a writ of habeas corpus application seeking their clients’ release, arguing that there was no order by the Apex Court for the continued detention of their clients and as such they should be released.

The defence lawyers had on May 13 filed a writ of habeas corpus application seeking their clients’ release, arguing that there was no order by the Apex Court for the continued detention of their clients and as such they should be released.

The Privy Council’s ruling followed an appeal made in February by lawyers representing the then-convicts, who argued various grounds, including the admissibility of telecommunication evidence, allegations of jury misconduct, and pressure on the jury to reach a verdict.

Since the ruling, the artiste has remained in prison. Shortly after, Kartel questioned the need for a retrial in his statement to Fox 5 News, saying, “I feel victorious in this very moment as the Privy Council, in their infinite wisdom, understood the assignment and remedied the situation by quashing my conviction! I am now back to being an innocent man in the eyes of the law. A grave injustice was done to me and my co-accused in the original trial… and my cries were heard in the land’s highest court.”





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