A cellphone belonging to incarcerated dancehall deejay Vybz Kartel — and which featured prominently in his 2014 murder conviction — was recently examined by defence attorneys, according to high-profile lawyer Bert Samuels.
Samuels, who represents Kartel’s co-accused Shawn “Shawn Storm” Campbell, was speaking with the Jamaica Observer yesterday.
“[Vybz] Kartel’s phone was recently examined by defence experts. Though it’s Kartel’s, it was used against Campbell,” he said.
During the 2014 trial, lawyers maintained that the phone evidence used to convict the men was contaminated, as police had used the phone’s data. Justice Lennox Campbell, who presided over the trial, also admitted that the phone evidence was compromised.
Last year, Vybz Kartel and his co-accused were granted permission to appeal to the Privy Council in the United Kingdom to challenge their murder conviction.
Samuels said he had no new information on the process, but his client remained “confident”.
“No updates,” he said.
Shawn Storm, a former member of Vybz Kartel’s Portmore Empire, was convicted along with his mentor on April 3, 2014 for the murder of Clive “Lizard” Williams in 2011. Kahira Jones and Andre St John were also convicted. All received life sentences by Justice Lennox Campbell.
Vybz Kartel (given name Adidja Palmer) was initially given 35 years before being eligible for parole. It was, however, reduced to 32 years and six months.
Andre St John, who had to serve 30 years before being eligible for parole, had his shaved down to 27 years and six months. Shawn Storm and Kahira Jones, who had to serve 25 years before being eligible, had theirs reduced to 22 years and six months.