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Kartel appeal: Case prejudiced by adverse publicity, argues attorney

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — One of the attorneys representing incarcerated deejay Adidja “Vybz Karel” Palmer this morning urged judges in the Court of Appeal to quash the murder conviction of the popular entertainer and his three co-appellants whose cases she said were prejudiced by adverse publicity primarily from the police.

Queen's Counsel Valerie Neita-Robertson, in making her arguments, said press releases that were sent out by the communications arm of the Jamaica Constabulary, as well as statements made by then Commissioner of Police Owen Ellington and then National Security Minister Peter Buntings, negatively impacted her client's case and by extension his co-appellants.

She also argued that the matter was further prejudiced during the trial by the leakage of video that allegedly showed the murder of Clive "Lizard" Williams, whom Kartel, Shawn Campbell , Andre St John and Kahira Jones were convicted of killing.

Neita-Robertson drew the judges attention to press releases by the then Constabulary Communications Network (CCN) in which it was noted that a series of vandalism at a Digicel cell site was linked to a high profile matter, as well as releases by the police about a robbery at a hotel where a witness was staying and the firebombing of the home of a witness in an high profile case.

A statement by the Ellington addressing reports in the adverse publications and an article in which he expressed his displeasure with how the trial was being covered along with statements made by Bunting about the negative impact of Kartel's music were also highlighted.

The attorney also argued that the judge failed to adequately address the issue which was raised during the trial and should have halted the trial.

Tanesha Mundle

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