King Charles orders Gov’t to cover legal fees for Kartel’s Privy Council appeal

King Charles the Third has officially ordered the Jamaican government to cover the legal expenses of dancehall artiste Vybz Kartel and his three co-accused following the recent decision by the UK Privy Council to overturn their 2014 murder convictions.

The formal directive, obtained by Observer Online from the attorney representing Kartel, Isat Buchanan, comes in the wake of the ruling to nullify the convictions of Vybz Kartel (Adijah Palmer), Shawn ‘Shawn Storm’ Campbell, Kahira Jones, and Andre St John, who were serving sentences for the 2011 murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams.

The order, dated April 10, 2024 and signed by a clerk of the Privy Council read: “His Majesty was pleased by and with the advice of His Privy Council to approve the report and to order that those charged with administering the Government of Jamaica and all others whom it may concern are to ensure that it is punctually observed and obeyed.”

The Privy Council’s advice in the order included four points:

(1) The appeal should be allowed;

(2)The Appellants’ convictions should be quashed on the ground of juror misconduct;

(3) The case should be remitted to the Court of Appeal to decide whether to order a re-trial as soon as reasonably practicable;

(4) The Respondent should pay the Appellants’ costs, the amount of those costs to be assessed if not agreed.

The quashing of the convictions in March prompted the case to be referred back to the local Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal is slated to convene on June 10 to deliberate whether a retrial should be ordered or if the men are to be released.

In April 2014, Kartel was sentenced to life in prison with the eligibility of parole after serving 35 years of his sentence. His co-accused were also handed life sentences – with Shawn Storm and Jones being eligible for parole after serving 25 years, and St John being eligible after serving 15 yea

SOURCEJamaica Observer
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