KINGSTON, Jamaica — Controversial entertainer Vybz Kartel was transferred to the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre, commonly known as General Penitentiary (GP). The move was reportedly executed on Thursday afternoon during heavy rains and reportedly follows a Fox 5 interview done by Lisa Evers and Kartel's assumed Turkish fiancée, Sidem Öztürk.
Kartel’s transfer has since prompted the artiste's lawyer to express concern for his client's health and safety. He said the transfer itself was "deliberate and or negligent and unacceptable.”
“Transferring Mr Palmer in the rain causing him to get wet given his medical condition is an attempt on his life,” said attorney-at-law Isat Buchanan.
Vybz Kartel has been hospitalised a few times for undisclosed reasons during his 11 year incarceration.
Buchanan said no reasons were given by the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) for the move.
“His case is before the highest court of this land. I am very disappointed that tax payers’ money is being wasted for fishing expeditions and PR stunts,” the lawyer said.
Buchanan also questioned the timing of the transfer as it was executed in the wake of the now viral interview with Evers and Öztürk.
“The move comes following the airing of an interview on Fox 5 by his fiancé as well as the eve of the anniversary of his arrest 11 years ago,” Buchanan said.
Ozturk told journalist Lisa Evers that she and Kartel got engaged in the summer of 2022 during an authorized prison visit.
Last month, Kartel dedicated his upcoming EP, True Religion, to Ozturk and shared new photos of her visiting him at the Horizon Adult Remand Centre in Kingston.
The EP is scheduled be released on Friday, September 30.
This is not the first time that Kartel has been housed at the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre. GP was built to accommodate 650 male inmates but has developed a reputation for being overcrowded. Kartel was being held at Horizon Adult Remand Centre after he was initially removed from GP.
The artiste is currently awaiting the outcome of his murder appeal at the Privy Council in London. He has been in jail since 2011 for the murder of an associate named Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams, along with his co-accused fellow artiste Shawn Storm, and two others, Kahira Jones and Andre St John. Since Kartel’s conviction in 2014, the deejay has maintained his innocence.
On April 3, 2020, a three-member Jamaican court of appeals panel upheld Kartel’s 2014 murder conviction. The Kingston court released a 235-page opinion on that day. The court also upheld the convictions and sentences for dancehall artiste Shawn Storm, as well as Jones and St John.