Judge Says “Illegally obtained evidence in Jamaica is admissible”: Kartel Retrial Hearing

Wednesday, June 12, 2024, 6:46 PM GMT-5

Wednesday, July 12 marked day three of the scheduled five-day hearing for Vybz Kartel, Shawn Storm, Kahira Jones, and Andre St John to decide whether or not they will face a retrial for the murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams who was reportedly killed in August of 2011.

Wednesday also marked the last day that the defence presented their arguments to the court, on Thursday, the prosecution will present arguments from the Crown highlighting reasons for a retrial against Adidja Azim Palmer who is more commonly known as Vybz Kartel and the other three accused men.

On Wednesday, Isat Buchanan argued that Palmer should not be put through another trial because of his worsening health condition, he also stated that the evidence previously obtained and used to convict the men was illegally obtained and tampered with.

However, with regard to the evidence used to convict the men previously, Judge Marva McDonald-Bishop told Buchanan, “We’re not going to Evidence 101 class today… Illegally obtained evidence in Jamaica is admissible.”

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Buchanan went on to argue that the deejay is suffering from a weakened mental state because of the lengthy legal proceedings, furthermore, he outlined that the handwriting expert, who was a key witness in the case passed away, which would weaken the defence’s endeavours.

Isat Buchanan | Vybz Kartel

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In a report presented by The Jamaica Observer, attorney John Clarke who is also a part of Kartel‘s defence stated on Wednesday that the previous trial left a damaging effect on the case and that the appellants should not have to go through the same ordeal again in a retrial because the crown failed to follow the guidelines with regards to the Interception of Communications Act.

Justice Marva McDonald-Bishop seemingly agreed with Clarke’s arguments and labelled it as a “beautiful submission”, the judge also told the attorney that, “Everything you have placed before us will be considered. Thank you for that enlightening submission.”

Clarke also argued that the ‘poisoning of the jury’ is another reason why a retrial should not be ruled at the end of the hearing.

The judges who are presiding over the hearing are Justices Marva McDonald-Bishop, Paulette Williams and David Fraser.

Court proceedings are expected to continue Thursday morning.

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