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Vybz Kartel’s Murder Conviction Overturned Due to Jury Bribery Concerns

Jamaican dancehall sensation Vybz Kartel has had his conviction for the murder of Clive “Lizard” Williams overturned by a London court. The decision, made on Thursday, was based on concerns regarding attempts to influence the trial jury, rendering the conviction unsafe.

The artist, known by his birth name Adidja Palmer, is renowned in Jamaica and has collaborated with global stars like Jay-Z and Rihanna. Kartel, aged 48, has been incarcerated in Jamaica since 2011 in connection with the disappearance of his associate, Clive “Lizard” Williams, whose remains have never been found.

Following a protracted 64-day trial in Kingston, Kartel and three others were convicted in 2014. Initially sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 35 years, Kartel’s term was later reduced to 32-and-a-half years upon appeal.

In a final attempt at appeal, Kartel and his co-defendants presented their case before the Privy Council in London, the highest court of appeal in Jamaica and certain other Commonwealth nations. They argued that the trial judge mishandled allegations of jury tampering, particularly regarding one juror’s purported offer of 500,000 Jamaican dollars (approximately $3,200) to sway the verdict.

The Privy Council ruled in favor of Kartel and his associates, stating that the trial judge’s decision to retain the juror in question jeopardized the integrity of the convictions. Consequently, the case has been remanded to the Court of Appeal in Jamaica to determine whether Kartel and his co-defendants will face a retrial.

This development marks a significant twist in Kartel’s legal saga, signaling a potential new chapter in the ongoing proceedings surrounding his conviction.

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