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Judge says improper case management lengthened Kartel trial

Published:Thursday | April 24, 2014 | 9:51 AM

Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator

Supreme Court judge, Lloyd Hibbert, believes that the protracted murder case of dancehall artiste Vybz Kartel highlights that proper case management procedures were not followed.

Criminal case management aims to deal with issues including the legal representation of the accused, pleas and, more important, timetables for all concerned parties to complete necessary preparation, disclosures and issues relating to witnesses.

The Kartel trial which lasted for 65 days was one of the longest in Jamaica’s history.

According to Justice Hibbert, proper case management significantly reduces the time taken to dispose of cases.

The judge has bemoaned that quite often, additional witnesses are being called after a trial has started.

Justice Hibbert made the comments during yesterday’s opening of the Easter Session of the Home Circuit Court.

Senior Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Kathy Pyke, conceded that lengthy trials were one of the reasons only 94 of the more than 500 cases were disposed off last term.

The prosecutor singled out the Kartel trial as one such case.

She also said many cases with multiple accused lasted up to four weeks, well beyond the typical two weeks.

On April 3, Kartel whose real name is Adidja Palmer, as well as co-convicts Shawn Campbell, Kahira Jones and Andre St John, were sentenced to life in prison for the August 2011 murder of Clive 'Lizard' Williams.


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