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Vybz Kartel's Legal Team Files For Immediate Release

Attorneys representing Dancehall artist Vybz Kartel have submitted a habeas corpus application to the Supreme Court, advocating for his and two other men’s immediate release, the Gleaner has reported.

The motion was filed Monday (May 13) on behalf of Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, Shawn ‘Shawn Storm’ Campbell, and Andre St John. The fourth individual involved in the case, Kahira Jones, was excluded as he’s also engaged in a separate legal matter.

In Jamaica, a habeas corpus application is described as “a recourse in law through which a person can report an unlawful detention or imprisonment to a court and request that the court order the custodian of the person detained to bring the prisoner to court to determine whether the detention is lawful.”

“The writ of habeas corpus is known as the great and efficacious writ in all manner of illegal confinement. It is a summons with the force of a court order. It demands of the custodian that the detainee be brought before the court and that the custodian present proof of authority allowing the court to determine whether the custodian has lawful authority to detain the prisoner. If the custodian is acting beyond their authority, then the prisoner must be released. Any person, including the prisoner, may petition the court, or a judge, for a writ of habeas corpus.”

Isat Buchanan, the lawyer handling the application, revealed that the application was prompted by unspecified issues, which the defense has chosen not to disclose publicly. Per the Jamaica Gleaner, he described these complications as “handicaps caused by events of nature.”

Attorney-at-law Isat Buchana

The court has adjourned the matter to May 29 and 30 for further deliberation.

This legal development follows a significant ruling by the Privy Council in March, which overturned the four men’s 2014 murder convictions and ordered that they be reimbursed for their legal costs. The convictions, which were related to the 2011 murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams, were invalidated due to juror misconduct.

The Privy Council also remitted the matter back to the Court of Appeal to decide whether a retrial is warranted.

The Court has since scheduled a five-day hearing beginning on June 10, where legal arguments will be presented before it issues a decision.

Kartel and his co-accused, who have served over 12 years in prison, have denied involvement in Williams’ death.


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