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Kartel, co-convicts appeal sentences

Thursday, April 17, 2014    

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ENTERTAINER Vybz Kartel and his three co-convicts have filed appeals against their conviction and sentences, claiming they got an unfair trial, and that there was a miscarriage of justice in the matter.

The appeals were filed in the Court of Appeal on Tuesday.

Vybz Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, Shawn 'Shawn Storm' Campbell, Kahira Jones and Andre St John were sentenced on April 3 to life imprisonment for the August 16, 2011 murder of Clive 'Lizard' Williams.

Justice Lennox Campbell ordered that Vybz Kartel serve 35 years in prison, with hard labour, before he becomes eligible for parole. Campbell and Jones are to serve 25 years before becoming eligible for parole, while St John is to become eligible for parole after serving 30 years of his sentence.

The men were convicted on March 13.

According to court documents, all four men listed the same four grounds of appeal - unfair trial, lack of evidence, misidentification by witness and miscarriage of justice.

The particulars of the men's grounds for appeal — which they are expected to expand on — are the same, save for the variation of a few words.

Vybz Kartel listed the following grounds and particulars:

* Unfair trial: That the evidence and testimonies upon which the learned trial judge relied to direct the jury and subsequently led to my conviction lacked facts and credibility, thus rendering the verdict unsafe in the circumstance.

* Lack of evidence: during the trial the prosecution failed to present the court any form of substantive material evidence, that is, scientific material, or DNA evidence to link me to the alleged crime.

* Misidentified by witness: That the main prosecution witness wrongfully identified me as person or among any persons who committed the alleged crime.

* Miscarriage of justice: That based on the evidence in respect of a time date, the court failed to recognise the fact that I could not

have committed the alleged crime.

The men said that they would like to be present when the appeals are heard. The prosecution will file its response to the appeal.

Williams was beaten to death at a house owned by Palmer in Havendale, St Andrew over the disappearance of two illegal guns. His body has not been found.

In a voice note played for the jurors in the 65-day trial in the Home Circuit Court, Vybz Kartel said that Williams' body was chopped up "fine fine like minced meat".

A fourth accused, Shane Williams, was acquitted by the 11-member jury.

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