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Cease threats, Kartel tells supporters

Published:Tuesday | April 15, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Convicted entertainer Vybz Kartel issued a statement yesterday appealing to individuals to stop threatening journalists for their coverage of his murder case and post-trial reporting.

Yesterday, Flying Squad detectives interviewed journalists Karyl Walker of the Jamaica Observer and Nationwide News Network's Abka Fitz-Henley whose lives have been threatened.

In a statement, the Police High Command said yesterday that it had received information that members of the media were being targeted and threatened by unscrupulous individuals for their coverage of Kartel's murder case, as well as a related report in the Observer on Sunday.

"It is regrettable that this has been the effect of individuals performing their professional duties, by highlighting the case and offering its coverage for public awareness," the statement read.

Probe under way

The High Command said the highest level of investigation was under way to bring the perpetrators to justice and would be assessing their security.

Meanwhile, the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) yesterday registered its concern over the reports that death threats have been levelled against the two journalists. The PAJ said while it was not unusual for Jamaican journalists to be threatened because of their work, it viewed every threat seriously and condemned members of the public who believed violence should be their reaction to news or opinions they do not support.

Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, in responding to media reports that persons, including journalists, were being threatened, said he had no ill will towards anyone involved in his trial.

He said in a signed statement that was circulated by his lawyer, Tom Tavares Finson, that it was brought to his attention yesterday by a member of his team that journalists and others had reported receiving threats from persons purportedly acting on his behalf.

no ill will to cops, prosecutors

"During my sentencing hearing, my attorney, Tom Tavares-Finson, indicated to the court that I hold no ill will to any of the persons involved in my trial neither the police, prosecutors, executives from Digicel, and certainly not any member of the media who covered my trial in a manner which exposed the weaknesses in the prosecution's case for all the world to see."

"I reiterate the position that I have no ill will toward anyone who was involved in my trial and I put my faith in the judicial system and the appeal process on which we have now embarked.

"In the meantime, I thank my family, friends and fans who continue to support, and have faith in me."

Kartel, 38, and fellow convicts Shawn Campbell, also called 'Shawn Storm', Kahira Jones and André St John were convicted in March of the murder of Clive 'Lizard' Williams, of Waterford, St Catherine. Williams was beaten to death on August 16, 2011 at Kartel's Havendale, St Andrew, house over two missing guns.