Vybz Kartel appeal concluded over six months ago and still no verdict from the Court of Appeal.
The case was presented before the Jamaican high court in July of last year, and since then the panel of three judges have been combing through the evidence. Attorney Bert Samuels, who represented Shawn Storm in the appeal, says the length of time is typical for an appeal case of this magnitude. Samuels also noted that a previous report from Fox5 NY might be reaching when the news outlet reported that a verdict is expected in a matter of weeks.
Some 6000 documents were presented to the courts by Vybz Kartel and his co-accused legal defence team. Samuels is now repeating the same sentiments, that the magnitude of the case will mean a longer time for a verdict to be reached.
“This appeal is ten times the size of a normal appeal, and, therefore, it will take much longer than the usual nine months that I have to wait to hear something,” Samuels commented. “The trial lasted four and a half months, the average murder case lasts two weeks. There were 6,500 pages of evidence presented that they will have to now peruse once more.”
Vybz Kartel, who’s real name Adidja Palmer, Shawn “Storm” Campbell, Kahira Jones, and Andre St John were charged for the murder of Clive “Lizard” Williams in 2014. The trial broke the record for the longest-running murder trial in the history of Jamaica, 17 weeks. The conviction stunned the entire dancehall fraternity and sparked outrage amongst Kartel’s fans.
Defence attorney, Tom Tavares-Finson, pointed out a number of issues with the case inclusive of police tampering with some of the evidence and intimidating witnesses. There was also the controversial juror corruption case where one juror, Livingston Cain, who is now facing jail time for allegedly attempting to bribe the forewoman with a $500,000 offer to return a not guilty verdict.
The appeal court judges now have the task of perusing all the facts in the case. It could be up to a year before a verdict is reached in the case.