Wed | Sep 27, 2023

Prison authorities probing how Kartel had two cell phones behind bars

Published:Thursday | May 25, 2023 | 7:58 PM
Vybz Kartel

The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) has launched an investigation after two cell phones were seized from convicted dancehall artiste Vybz Kartel a day apart at the Tower Street Correctional Facility in Kingston.

The DCS confirmed that the artiste, whose given name is Adidja Palmer, was among three inmates who were found in possession of the prohibited items on the block where he is being housed.

One of the prohibited items was reportedly found in his possession last Friday and the other on Sunday during a search.

The DCS's disclosure comes in the wake of a post on the artiste's Instagram page in which it was reported that he has been placed on a 23-hour lockdown since the phones were found and that the lockdown is affecting his health as the cell room is poorly ventilated.

Kartel, who reportedly has thyroid issues, since the lockdown, has not been breathing properly, the post claimed.

The post further claimed that the lockdown order was imposed by a superintendent who has 'ill will” against the entertainer and described the order as a Draconian style of punishment.

However, the DCS, when contacted, rebutted the claim that Kartel is on lockdown.

The department told The Gleaner that the phones were taken from the entertainer but that he was not placed on lockdown, as he is being kept in his regular cell.

The DCS, however, said his movement has been restricted pending the outcome of the investigation.

It also indicated that it has not received any complaints from the artiste about his health.

In April 2014, Kartel, Shawn Storm (given name Shawn Campbell), Kahira Jones and Andre St John were convicted for the August 2011 killing of Clive 'Lizard' Williams at a house in Havendale, St Andrew.

Williams' body was never recovered.

Kartel was ordered to serve 35 years before he is eligible for parole, while Shawn Storm's parole eligibility period was set at 25 years.

St John and Jones will have to serve 30 and 25 years, respectively, before they are eligible for parole.

The men, whose local appeal was refused by the Court of Appeal, are waiting on the Privy Council to hear their case. 

In February, the Privy Council rejected an application from Palmer to introduce fresh evidence. 

- Tanesha Mundle

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