- by Nadine White -
On Tuesday 23rd July, Dancehall entertainer Vybz Kartel – real name Adidja Palmer – was found ‘not guilty’ for the murder of Barrington “Bossie” Burtona
It has been revealed that this was due to a collapse in the prosecution’s case against the “world boss”, largely because their entire case lay on the statements of two witnesses. However, these actual witnesses were never formally identified and interestingly, there is no record of them anywhere – no birth certificates, no fixed address, no voter’s registration etc. As a result the judge instructed the 12 person jury to deliver a ‘not guilty’ verdict.
On his acquittal Kartel released the following statement: “I had the utmost confidence from the outset as I knew I was being used as a scapegoat as usual because of my image and content and some of my music.” One of his lawyers Christian Tavares-Finson chimed in during an interview with jamaicansmusic.com, saying: “There is an ulterior motive. Don’t keep a man in custody, in order to censor his image.”
Despite this recent positive news, the “world boss” still remains in custody, as he is to return to court in November to be tried on a remaining charge against him – the murder of local dancer Clive “Lizard” Williams.
Though I am not the biggest Kartel fan, I do respect his talent and moreover acknowledge his human rights. Until recently I haven’t really paid too much attention to peoples’ conspiracy theories on this matter – particularly because I hear talk from many Jamaicans that he is, in fact, a “bad man”.
However, the fact is that he has been in jail since October ‘11 without trial, partly on a charge which had so little evidence. I know the Jamaican judicial system – like most – is flawed, but something’s screams ‘foul play’ in this instance!
According to Tavares-Finson, there is nothing which concretely links Kartel to the second murder either! Contrary to some media reports, there is no incriminating video/ DNA evidence and an actual body hasn’t been found. Why were the public lead to think this was the case?
Kartel does seem unusually disadvantaged in his current legal woes and furthermore he seemed to predict his fate. Prior to his incarceration, he had an interview in January 2011 on Nationwide FM (Jamaica). Alluding to a conspiracy which he felt was afoot, he said: “I fear for my life and my freedom. I’d like to tell my fans that if you see anything happen to me, you done know where it come from.”