Trial judge blasted for diluting Vybz Kartel’s defence
An attorney in the appeal case involving Vybz Kartel, whose real name is Adijah Palmer, and his co-accused, on Thursday criticised the trial judge for diluting the defence given by the incarcerated dancehall entertainer in his unsworn statement.
Attorney Oswest Senior-Smith, who represents Kartel’s co-accused, Andre St. John, said the statement was not treated adequately and fairly by the judge.
He said Kartel revealed much in his unsworn statement but the judge failed to draw connection during his summation to the jury.
Mr. Senior-Smith, who made his submission in the appeal hearing Thursday afternoon, said Vybz Kartel outrightly denied killing Clive “Lizard” Williams in his unsworn statement.
He argued that the entertainer declared that his hands are clean of Mr. Williams’s blood, if in fact he is deceased.
The attorney suggested that the material presented in court was not evaluated by the judge in relation to the evidence.
He argued that this outright denial by Kartel of any killing was not given sufficient weight by the judge in his directions to the jury, and this was detrimental to the entertainer’s case.
Mr. Senior-Smith added that the judge failed to give the jury the necessary instructions about the time stamp on a video which was allegedly recorded on the night of the murder.
He told the court that the time stamp would have shown the flaws in the prosecution’s evidence.
But another concern was raised by the attorney, who questioned whether the instructions given to the jury by the court were accurate for them to have come to a fair and considered verdict.
Vybz Kartel, Kahira Jones, Shawn Campbell and Andre St. John were convicted for the murder of Clive “Lizard” Williams on August 16, 2011.
The defence for Vybz Kartel and his co-accused completed submissions on Thursday.
Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Jeremy Taylor, the prosecution’s lead attorney, will make submissions on Friday, which is the final day of the appeal hearing.