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KINGSTON, Jamaica (CMC) – The UK-based Privy Council has quashed the murder conviction of dancehall artiste Vybz Kartel and his co-convicts.

Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, Shawn Campbell, also known as “Shawn Storm”, Kahira Jones and Andre “Mad Suss” St. John were convicted on March 13, 2014, of the murder of Clive “Lizard” Williams.

They were all sentenced to life in prison.

The men appealed the sentence at the Privy Council and during the hearing held over two days from Feb. 14, the law lords raised questions about the judge’s decision to continue the trial after it was revealed that a member of the jury pool had offered a bribe to the foreman to swing the verdict in favour of Kartel.

When the Privy Council’s decision was handed down on Thursday morning — almost 10 years to the day Kartel and his co-accused were initially found guilty — the jury issue proved to be the deciding factor in the judges’ ruling.

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In a short decision, the Privy Council said although it had sympathy for the trial judge, the handling of the jury matter by that judge presented a material irregularity.

The judges of the court concluded that the appeals should be allowed and the appellants’ convictions should be quashed on the ground of juror misconduct.

It said the case should be remitted to the Court of Appeal of Jamaica to decide whether to order a retrial of the appellants for the murder of Clive Williams.

One reply on “Privy Council quashes Vybz Kartel’s murder conviction”

  1. Wendell Cole says:

    The Privy Council had no option but to reverse the decision made at the lower courts because of the jury medling with proper justice. This is in keeping with with Regina v Sussex which stated that “,the law must not only be done but must be seen to be done”. The Jury intervention derailed the course of justice. Accordingly, it was only proper that the highest Court which is Appellate Court would interve to restore the proper functioning of the Court.

    The Appellate Court made the right decision to nullify the decision of the inferior Court. Therefore, it sent the decision back to the Court of first instance.

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