When the judgment in the case for Vybz Kartel and his co-accused was read out in court at some minutes to 10 am on Friday morning, via an electronic link, Bianca Samuels, a lawyer for Sean ‘Storm’ Campbell, let out a slight gasp, and questioned if she had just heard, “Dismissed?”.
Samuels, her father Bert Samuels, Isat Buchanan, and Daynia Allen are on the legal team for Campbell who is one of the co-accused in the case against Adidja ‘Vybz Kartel’ Palmer. Kahira Jones, and Andre St John are the other co-accused men that are serving a mandatory life sentence for the murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams in August 2011.
In July 2018 all four men appealed the sentences and convictions, they have been awaiting the outcome since. They all had a look of disappointment in their faces However Bert Samuels, still spoke. “We are very disappointed,” he said while he let it sink in that the appeal was thrown out.
Bert Samuels vowed to put his contingency plan in place as he was directed by his client in previous discussions they held, they earlier planned to take the matter to the Privy Council in London if they had lost the appeal in Jamaica.
Samuels revealed to the media representatives that were at a location in St Andrew on Friday morning, that his client, who is a dancehall artiste, Shawn Campbell, feels that the justice system in Jamaica was under pressure because of who he is.
“Mr. Campbell expressed to me that there is certain perception of a pressure that is on the justice system in Jamaica because they don’t feel that there is any” He states that there was no freedom to think freely because of persons who are involved in the appeal.
Bert Samuels said. “And we don’t think that the Privy Council comes under any such pressure when we take matters to them. Persons who have had an interest in this case have told me that they think that public pressure would have factored in this case. We have an independent judiciary, so we don’t expect that kind of pressure to go to them, but speaking on behalf of the client, he feels that this pressure is out there.”
He talks the timeline for the mounting of the new appeal to the Privy Council, he is looking to no later than next year or definitely, closer to the end of 2020, but the Coronavirus has become an issue, it makes so many things unpredictable, however he feels certain, they will be arguing latest 2021.
“Now, these men have been in custody since 2011, so they are prepared to wait.”
He also explained that they would need permission from the Jamaican court in order to take the case overseas, but if, permission is not granted, the Privy Council can be approached directly.
The financial cost of such an appeal would involve travel to London by the lawyers; however, in this electronic age, it is possible for things to be done a bit differently.
“This means they could be having a live-streaming of this appeal to the Privy Council, where they might be at a location in Jamaica, and we manage to address the Privy Council,” the attorney Samuels told http://jamaica-gleaner.com.