Kartel makes major move towards freedom with key Court of Appeal ruling today

Kartel makes major move towards freedom with key Court of Appeal ruling today

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Gaza fans exploded with glee on social media today as news emerged that entertainer Vybz Kartel and his three co-accused won what could be considered a significant ruling in their murder appeal.


This, as the Court of Appeal ruled that fresh evidence will be admitted in the appeal hearing which started this morning.



The fresh evidence was not part of the trial in which Vybz Kartel, Shawn "storm" Campbell, Kahira Jones and Andre St. John were convicted in march 2014 for the murder of clive "lizard" williams.


“The grounds of appeal span between the judge being biased, the accused Shawn Campbell not being present for the composition of jury, and also being denied the right of hearing and right to be present when material evidence was being presented against him," Samuels added.


During the trial, the jury foreman accused a member of the jury of trying to bribe colleagues to return not guilty verdicts. That juror is currently on trial for bribery in the parish court in St. Andrew.


In relation to this, the Court of Appeal ruled that Mr. Campbell’s affidavit showing he was excluded from chambers when the foreman made bribery allegations against one of the jurors, and this must be presented as fresh evidence, as Mr. Campbell had a constitutional right to be present in chambers when the allegations were made.


The court of appeal also ruled that statements made by jurors in relation to the bribery trial must be admitted as fresh evidence.


Samuels pointed to key cell site evidence as a major fulcrum which could have swung the case in the appellants' favour. 


"Lamar Chow, the main witness of fact, actually said two different things, one statement said that he got to Swallowfield (Avenue) at 5:30 p.m. and then to the police, he said he got there at 8 in the night. And we have the cell site evidence, that shows that Williams, rather than being at Swallowfield (Avenue), was in St. Catherine at the time he was allegedly being assaulted. The cell site evidence proves that  way after 7, the deceased was in still in St. Catherine, that is scientific evidence," Samuels told Loop News over the weekend. 



Mr. Williams was beaten to death in august 2011 at a house in havendale, st andrew. his body has not been found.




Queen’s counsel Valerie Neita-Robertson and Bert Samuels had applied for witness statements to form part of the appeal hearing to show that what the witnesses said in their statements to the police had differed from the evidence produced at the trial in the home circuit court.




The appellate court ruled that the statement of the crown witness Lamar Chow dated August 24, 2011, which was given to the police eight days after the murder, must be tendered as fresh evidence.



Mr. Chow had said in his statement that he arrived at Swallowfield at 8 pm but in evidence during the trial he said the arrival time was between 5 p.m to 5:30 p.m.


Police experts had said at the trial that records from the mobile phone showed that the deceased Mr Williams and accused Mr Campbell were in St. Catherine at 7.30 pm and not at Swallowfield between 5 pm to 5.30 pm on the day of the murder.


The appeal is being heard by the president of the Court of Appeal Dennis Morrison, Justice Patrick Brooks and Justice Frank Williams.



The court will start hearing arguments in the appeal next Monday.

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