Yesterday’s bombshell that the Privy Council had rejected Vybz Kartel’s efforts to introduce fresh evidence and additional grounds for appeal to overturn his murder conviction has left social media in a frenzy.
The initial report from Nationwide Radio, which broke the news, had incorrectly stated that the appeal was denied. However, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Paula Llewellyn, has offered some clarity, which has left Gaza fans optimistic.
The DPP explained, in a statement yesterday, that the Jamaica Court of Appeal of Jamaica had previously granted Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, and his co-appellants Shawn ‘Storm’ Campbell, Kahira Jones, and Andre St. John permission to take their appeal to the Privy Council over their 2014 conviction and life sentences.
According to Llewellyn, two additional applications were subsequently made to the Privy Council to introduce fresh evidence from an expert’s examination of Kartel’s cellphone—which contained damning text and voice messages linking him to the murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams—and to advance grounds for appeal that the Jamaica Court Of Appeal did not previously grant. The Priviy Council committee denied the two applications on February 15, 2022.
Gaza fans found their optimism in the DPP’s closing comments, where she added: “The determination of these two (2) applications now sets the stage for the full hearing of the substantive appeal against conviction and sentence at a future date to be appointed by the Privy Council.”
The Instagram page for Kartel’s label lashed the misleading reports, writing in a short message: “Like I’ve always said, it’s like the Star just takes up random people off the streets and turn them into reporters but Tell the badmind jamaica media #TheCometsComing.”
Meanwhile, the singer’s fans celebrated the fact that the appeal still stands, even though the new evidence won’t be admitted. However, one user earned their ire when he commented: “Good job. Keep these thugs off the streets and out of our beautiful neighborhoods.”
A Gaza fan fired back, “Guh s-ck unu ma! U chat to much! A You stink mouth dem need fi keep off the street.”
The expected comments about corruption and a conspiracy also reared their head, with one Gaza fan alleging: “This is a big setup by society and the bigger heads. I know this case would have to be a miracle for the artist and his friends to get true justice in a we small country name JA. These people need the artist to carry their burden and their corruption pon dem shoulder. Every man deserve their equal rights.”
Similarly, one fan shared: “Vybz Kartel represents everything that politicians fear, specifically a critical thinker. Politicians rely on people who don’t think, read and choose greed over the well-being of the citizens.”
In response, one user said, “Ok corruption blah blah blah, I get it. The justice system didn’t follow correct protocol, but everyone just gonna act like they didn’t hear Kartel on those tapes informing on himself?? Just want to be clear.”
Sympathy for the former Portmore Empire boss was to be found everywhere, from one fan posting, “Give the man a break now man” to others explaining, “I think he has already spent enough time in prison and needs another chance to make it right with society.”
But detractors were also out in their numbers, with one highlighting that Kartel was dealing with the consequences of his actions. “Someone said the more you f#$k around, the more you will find out. Seems like he is finding out a lot these days,” the user said.
The comments also weren’t without the usual comedians.
According to one Instagram account, “Hello! That was the basis of his whole appeal and if they refuse that, his next best bet is El Chapo’s contractor.”
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