Sunday 23 February, 2020

Vybz Kartel criticises Jamaica's murder rate

File photo of Vybz Kartel on a medical visit outside of the confines of prison some time.

File photo of Vybz Kartel on a medical visit outside of the confines of prison some time.

Dancehall superstar Vybz Kartel, an incarcerated murder convict, has criticised the failure of those in authority to adequately address the national murder rate, with over 1,000 homicides annually over recent years.

A post made on his official Instagram account earlier this week expressed that view, whether from Kartel himself or his handlers.

There have been questions about whether it is actually the deejay who has been directly posting on the Instagram page, or the postings are being managed by someone else.

The view was expressed on the Instagram account while comfort was being offered to Kartel’s daughter who had posted on her own Instagram page, "🤔 every little girl needs their father... 💔 #FreeMyFather #FreeWorldBoss".

Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, was hoping that the Court of Appeal would have handed down its decision on the appeal against his murder conviction before Christmas, but that has not materialised.

A screenshot of his daughter's post was shared on the artiste’s Instagram page, and below it were the words, "Just keep holding it my Princess. Your father doesn't bow to nuh bwoy nor gyal, so everybody a try prove."

The post went on to indirectly criticise those in authority for being unable to solve other murders in Jamaica while "acting like" they cared about Clive 'Lizard' Williams, the man Kartel is convicted of murdering.

"Acting like they care about ‘Lizard’ when 1,000-plus Jamaicans are killed every year and somehow they can't seem to solve those cases," the Instagram post read.

In concluding, it further read: "So nuh watch ntn Prinny, di whole world see seh dem a clown, and history will... on their memory. (Expletive) BOASTY SLAVE!!!"

Up to Christmas Day, the post had over 1,700 comments from various persons, including other dancehall and reggae acts who offered their support to Kartel.

The Court of Appeal earlier this month indicated that its preparation of the judgement on Kartel's appeal of his murder conviction was at an "advanced stage". The three judges made the declaration via the Appeal Court registrar, in response to a letter from Kartel's lead attorney, Queen's Counsel Tom Tavares Finson, inquiring about the lengthy delay in handing down the judgement.

The Appeal Court judges’ response to the defence lawyers came in a letter dated December 2.

"I am directed to advise that the judgement herein is at an advanced stage of preparation," stated the registrar in the letter, adding that, "As soon as it is ready and the court has set a delivery date, all the parties will be duly notified."

Kartel was convicted alongside Kahira Jones, Andre St John, and Shawn ‘Shawn Storm’ Campbell for the murder of associate, Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams.

The four were given life sentences at the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston. Kartel will be eligible for parole after 35 years behind bars. His co-accused, St John, is required to do 30 years before being considered for parole, while Jones and Campbell are to serve 25 years before they are eligible for parole.

The appeal judgement, which could erase all that, is expected to be handed down early next year.

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