Wed | Aug 22, 2018

#VybzKartelAppeal | Kartel's attorney accuses judge of mishandling murder trial

Published:Wednesday | July 18, 2018 | 12:11 PM

Livern Barrett, Senior Gleaner 

The attorney for incarcerated entertainer Vybz Kartel has charged that adverse police statements and media reports during his murder trial were dealt with in a "very flippant way" by the presiding judge Justice Lennox Campbell.

Further, Valerie Neita-Robertson, the entertainer's lead attorney, said that there was no separation of Vybz Kartel and Adidja Palmer "the man before the court."

"And the learned trial judge made no effort to distinguish between the two," Neita-Robertson argued before the Court of Appeal today.

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She was wrapping up her legal arguments in the appeal filed by Kartel, his protégé, Shawn Storm, as well as Kahira Jones and Andre St John to overturn their murder convictions and sentences.

Neita-Robertson cited examples of adverse police statements and separate media releases issued by the Jamaica Constabulary Force's Corporate Communications Network while the trial was ongoing.

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The statements indicated that the police had commenced separate investigations into two incidents they believe were linked to a high-profile trial that was before the court.

"Those reports were given to the media by senior police officers and was likely to [be] far-reaching and viewed to be credible, as against someone who was not a member of the force," Neita-Robertson argued.

She charged that the directions and comments Campbell made during the trial "tended to reflect his view and that it was not a matter of great importance."

"He ought to have given [the jury] specific instructions during his summation. He did not do that," she asserted.

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