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Vybes Kartel Back to The Coolers After Bail Denial

Supreme Court Justice Andrea Thomas ruled that in the absence of a verdict of acquittal by the Privy Council the charge of murder remains in effect for Kartel, whose given name is Adidja Palmer, and his co-accused Shawn “Shawn Storm” Campbell and Andre St John. Jamaica— Dancehall star Vybz Kartel and two of his three co-accused will remain behind bars after a judge rejected the habeas corpus application submitted by their attorneys Thursday.
In declaring that their present custodial status is not in breach of the constitution, Justice Thomas told a packed court room at the Supreme Court in downtown Kingston that, “In view of the fact that their appeal is not yet determined they should remain in custody until their appeal is concluded.
“That is until a verdict of acquittal is entered or there is a decision for a retrial,” Thomas said.
The ruling comes after an intense court battle to determine whether Kartel and the two men were being illegally detained by the state. Attorney for the men, Isat Buchanan, argued in submissions that “a conviction must exist for there to be authority to detain” the men. Meanwhile, state attorneys argued that the quashing of the convictions by the Privy Council in March did not equate to an acquittal and only reverted the men to their pretrial status with murder charges that are still “live” Vybz Kartel’s legal team appealed the conviction, arguing that the juror’s misconduct should have resulted in a mistrial.
The appeal was heard by the Privy Council in London, which ruled in favor of Vybz Kartel, stating that the conviction should be quashed due to juror misconduct. The Privy Council’s ruling sent the case back to the Court of Appeal of Jamaica to decide whether to order a retrial for Vybz Kartel and his co-accused.
The Court of Appeal will consider issues related to telecommunications evidence, jury management, and jury tampering. Until a verdict of acquittal is entered or a decision for a retrial is made, Vybz Kartel and his co-accused will remain in custody. Vybz Kartel and two of his co-accused filed a habeas corpus application seeking their release, but the application was denied by the Jamaica Supreme Court.
The court stated that without a verdict or acquittal by the Privy Council, the murder charge against them remains in effect. In April 2014, Kartel was sentenced to life in prison with eligibility for parole after serving 35 years of his sentence. His co-accused were also handed life sentences – with Shawn Storm and Jones being eligible for parole after serving 25 years, and St John being eligible after serving 15 years.

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