Entertainment

Tommy takes on Gov't

BY AALIYAH CUNNINGHAM
Observer writer
aaliyahc@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, January 24, 2019

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Ernest Smith, lawyer for Tommy Lee Sparta, says he is moving forward with proceedings to sue the government of Jamaica on behalf of his client.

“He was the victim of the unlawful restraint of trade,” Smith told the Jamaica Observer. “He was the victim of the breach of one of the most fundamental rights, which is the right to earn a living.”

Tommy Lee Sparta (given name Leroy Russell) was freed of lottery-scamming charges in the Home Circuit Court on December 20. Since then, his legal team has moved to file action against the Attorney General's Department for loss of income as a result of him being arrested and charged.

During the time the case was before the courts, Smith explained that the police would be notified of the entertainer's bookings, then they cancelled his scheduled appearances. That, coupled with a stop order, prevented the deejay from leaving the island to perform on shows overseas. He also said Tommy Lee Sparta had to refund deposits to promoters after his appearances were cancelled.

“For the entire period, the police came to the conclusion that they have convicted,” Smith said.

Smith was tight-lipped as to the figure they were requesting.

“We will be calling for the government to pay millions of dollars,” he stated.

In February 2014, Tommy Lee Sparta and three persons were charged with suspected breaches of the Law Reform (Fraudulent Transaction) (Special Provisions) Act 2013, after police raided a house in the Kingston 5 area reportedly occupied by the entertainer. The police discovered lottery-scamming paraphernalia and seized a laptop belonging to the deejay after it was reportedly found with personal information of several United States residents.

Tommy Lee Sparta's career is riddled with run-ins with the law.

In 2016, a US$3-million lawsuit was filed against the government of Dominica over the cancellation of a 2014 concert on which he was to perform. The deejay was arrested, detained and deported.

In January 2017, former head of the St James Police division, Senior Superintendent Marlon Nesbeth, listed the artiste as a person of interest in crimes in sections of Flanker, St James. He was also listed as a person of interest by detectives from the Kingston Eastern Division for a shooting incident.

Then in June of that year, the artiste was questioned and released by the Elletson Road Police Station about a shooting in the division.

Tommy Lee Sparta is known for songs such as Soul Reaper, Psycho, Spartan Angel, Shook and Happy Life.


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