Vybz Kartel’s defense attorney says he’s confidence that the fresh evidence uncovered by forensic experts will vindicate the dancehall star in UK’s Privy Council.
It’s been over ten years that Vybz Kartel’s most loyal fans have been calling for his freedom. Besides his fans, the Worl’Boss himself has always maintained his innocence. Following his sentencing in 2014, he’s been through the wringer having appealed his murder conviction and having it thrown out in his defense that he did not kill Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams.
As external investigators are confirming new evidence in the case, Vybz Kartel’s lawyer Isat Buchanan, gave an exclusive interview to FOX 5 New York. The attorney sought to expose supposed corruption in the handling of the now infamous murder case.
Buchanan went as far as to say that there was no longer any doubt that some of the most important evidence used to convict Vybz Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Azim Palmer, was falsified. He made the bold statement based on a scientific investigation carried out by a digital forensic expert.
With this new evidence coming to light, Buchanan believes that there is now more than just a glimmer of hope that the Privy Council, based in the UK, will overturn his sentence. The Privy council is the fifth and highest tier of the Jamaican Court System.
A lot of the new evidence coming to light suggests that one of the key pieces of the prosecution’s evidence, the contentious Blackberry phone, was tampered with. Many who followed the case have always suggested that the evidence presented against Kartel was circumstantial at best.
Their suspicions may have been confirmed as, according to a comprehensive investigation by a British certified digital forensic expert, there is some doubt about the authenticity of the evidence.
“So when there is a gap in the footprint, for instance, the video did not have any GPS on it and all other videos on the phone had GPS, had the metadata and the epoch times in sequence,” Buchannan explained.
According to this new evidence, it could mean that there was tampering or even misreporting of the time stamp, which was crucial in getting a conviction. Added to that, according to the newly established time stamp, it seems that Kartel was at a hospital at the time of the murder.
The digital expert also confirmed what had been widely reported in the media for some time that the phone had been used to make calls after being seized by Jamaican authorities. This is also a major breach of protocol as it means that the phone was not kept in a sealed evidence bag, which is standard law enforcement protocol.
Buchanan further said that no explanation was ever given regarding why the phone was not stored according to protocol. He questioned why the cellphone wasn’t locked, who opened it and who would have been in contact with it before, during, or after all of that. Those were concerns shared by the expert, he continued.
The major outcome of the new findings is that the Privy Council has decided to review Kartel’s appeal.
“I’m very happy and optimistic about being before the Privy Council. It is the final court and justice is for all,” added.
Buchanan also said that he expects to travel to England next year,2022, to make the case on behalf of his client. The case has long engaged fans of the genre and is the longest murder trial recorded in Jamaican history at 65 days.
Just last year, on the sixth anniversary of his conviction, on April 3, 2020, a three-member panel of judges in the Jamaican Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal to overturn the murder charge.
However, on April 17, 2020, the Court of Appeal reduced Kartel’s parole eligibility to 32 years and 6 months, citing Justice Campbell’s failure to consider the time the singer had spent in jail while awaiting trial in 2014. He will now be eligible for parole in 2046.