Vybz Kartel’s Murder Conviction “Quashed” by Privy Council

In a groundbreaking turn of events, the UK Privy Council has overturned the murder conviction of Jamaican dancehall artiste Vybz Kartel, alongside co-appellants Kahira Jones, Andre St. John, and Shawn Campbell, professionally known as Shawn Storm.

The verdict, announced on Thursday, March 14, 2024, has sent shockwaves through Jamaica’s legal landscape.

Vybz Kartel, born Adidja Azim Palmer, and his co-appellants have been fighting tirelessly to overturn their guilty verdict since their conviction. The decision by the Privy Council to “quash” the conviction means that the case will now return to Jamaica’s courts. Here, authorities will decide whether to release Vybz Kartel or initiate a retrial, which seems imminent.

A pivotal moment in the Privy Council’s ruling was the revelation of jury member misconduct and the continuation of the trial despite reported bribery attempts. These factors played a significant role in the decision to overturn the conviction. The trial judge faced criticism for allowing the proceedings to continue under such circumstances.

For Vybz Kartel, this ruling marks a potential turning point after years of legal battles. Initially arrested on September 29, 2011, on a marijuana charge, he has remained incarcerated ever since. Now, with the Privy Council’s decision, there is hope for justice to prevail.

The appellants, including Vybz Kartel, have awaited this momentous decision since February 15, 2024. As they prepare for the next chapter in their legal journey, Jamaica braces for the implications of this landmark ruling. Will Vybz Kartel walk free, or will a retrial ensue? The answers lie in the hands of Jamaica’s justice system, as the nation watches closely for what comes next.

It’s also expected that Vybz Kartel and his co-accused apply for bail.

The appellants have been waiting on a decision from the UK Privy Council since February 15, 2024.

Minutes after 11 AM on Thursday Jamaican time, after reading the summarized details, a conclusion was given, stating, “For the reasons set out above, the Board will humbly advise His Majesty that the appellants’ convictions should be quashed and that the question whether there should be a retrial should be remitted to the Court of Appeal of Jamaica.”

Vybz Kartel is yet to react to the decision on social media.

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