Vybz Kartel files defamation suit against outgoing Jamaican police commissioner

Vybz Kartel has filed a defamation lawsuit against now retired Jamaican police commissioner, Owen Ellington following Ellington's comments on a local TV show in April.by Jodee Brown

Imprisoned Dancehall superstar, Vybz Kartel has signaled his intent to sue recently retired Jamaican police commissioner, Owen Ellington and Television Jamaica (TVJ) over comments he made on a local television show in April, claiming the deejay was the head of a gang responsible for over 100 murders islandwide.

According to reports Monday, the polarizing entertainer, who was convicted of and given a life sentence for the 2011 murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams in March, has decided to file the multi-million dollar civil lawsuit, through his legal team before the end of this week,. His lead lawyer, Tom-Tavares Finson confirmed the lawsuit with ZIP FM Monday afternoon, but later told IRIE FM that he will not representing Kartel for this case.

Ellington, who had been the head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force since 2009, told the Television Jamaica (TVJ) show, All Angles, “Vybz Kartel led a gang which was responsible for over 100 murders, and we have been telling the country this for a long, long time. Every time we moved against this gang, we were criticized, we were condemned and we were accused of being malicious against this individual. In fact, if you look at his defense, what was his defense? That there was a conspiracy on the part of the police.”

According to court documents, the comments made by Ellington were an attempt to sully Kartel’s character and cause contempt and ridicule, suggesting he never made any attempt to retract his comments and that TVJ have made no effort to distance themselves from said remarks.

There has been no evidence presented to support Ellington’s comments, which caused a stir locally, causing many to wonder why the ex-commissioner would make them after Kartel’s conviction and subsequent sentencing just weeks earlier. Tavares-Finson himself called the comments out of line, saying they were an attempt to prejudice Kartel’s appeal.

Ellington shocked many when he announced his resignation from the police force last week, citing his, “need to separate himself from the leadership and management of the Force prior to the commencement of the upcoming Commission of Enquiry into the conduct of the Operations of the Security Forces in Western Kingston and other areas during the limited State of Emergency in 2010,” according to a press release by Jamaica’s ministry of security.

He had served in various parts of the police force for over 30 years.

Vybz Kartel Reggae album to be released in June

A new Reggae album from Vybz Kartel, 'Reggae Love Songs and Other Things,' will be released on June 3.by Jodee Brown

A Reggae album by incarcerated Dancehall superstar, Vybz Kartelwill be released in early June, according to reports Saturday, marking the first compilation by the deejay since being convicted of murder in March.

The 14-track album, Reggae Love Songs and Other Things, is produced by Short Boss Musik, the label founded by Kartel’s common-law wife, Tanesha ‘Shorty’ Johnson. It will feature a number of songs released since Kartel’s conviction under his Addi Innocent moniker, including Crashing Head On, Can’t Call This a Love Song, Miami Vice Episode, Downtown Kingston, My Love My Love and Love Mummy, featuring PG13, a group comprised of Kartel’s sons, Little Vybz and Little Addi.

Reggae Love Songs and Other Things also showcases production from TJ Records, So Unique Records and Bigga DonDon. The album largely showcases songs speaking on social issues, love and other topics.

A release from Short Boss Musik says that despite Vybz Kartel’s situation, his music will forever live on, saying, “music cannot be imprisoned.”

Reggae Love Songs and Other Things will officially be released on June 3, via iTunes and will be distributed by 21st Hapilos andJohnny Wonder. However, music lovers can pre-order the album on iTunes right now.

Vybz Kartel is currently serving a life sentence for the August 2011 murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams at a St. Andrew residence. He will not be eligible for parole for 35 years, however, he and his legal team have long signaled their intention to appeal the conviction.

A few Kartel albums have been released since his September 2011, including Kartel Forever: Trilogy and The Voice Of The Jamaican Ghetto – Incarcerated but not Silenced, a roots Reggae album based on his book with the same name

Earlier this month, a gospel song by Kartel, Ordinary Servant was released. That song was produced by TJ Records.

Kartel calls for end to threats made following murder conviction

Dancehall star, Vybz Kartel says fans making threats against journalists and others following his recent murder conviction are only doing him more harm than good.

Dancehall star, Vybz Kartel says fans making threats against journalists and others following his recent murder conviction are only doing him more harm than good.

by Jodee Brown

Embattled Dancehall star, Vybz Kartel has called for fans and others top stop making threats against journalists and members of the public in the aftermath of his March murder conviction in the Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams trial.

Since the verdict and subsequent life sentence on April 3, several threats have been made against journalists due to their coverage of the trial, as well as telecommunications giant, Digicel following voice notes implicating Kartel in the lead up to when the murder allegedly took place. Nationwide News reporter, Abka Fitz-Henley received some of said threats after playing some of the voice notes obtained by the local radio station following the trial.

An editor at the Jamaica Observer faced similar treatment after it was alleged he was the author a story that broke Sunday citing an unnamed police source as saying Kartel had given them information on wanted men in his native Portmore in exchange for the possible dismissal of his murder charge, a claim the deejay’s lawyer later refuted.

In a statement released Tuesday morning, Kartel said persons making these threats should cease and desist, insisting they are not making his situation any easier.

“I appeal to any misguided individual or individuals who may think it appropriate to seek to threaten or intimidate anyone to stop it,” he said. “Such action is not helping me or my fellow appellants and is playing into the hands of the police and others who are seeking to discredit me and prejudice the fair hearing of my appeal.”

Speaking out for the second time since his conviction, Kartel also said he harbors no negativity towards those involved in his trial.

“During my sentencing hearing, my attorney, Tom Tavares-Finson, indicated to the court that I hold no ill-will to any of the persons involved in my trial, neither the police, prosecutors, executives from Digicel and certainly not any member of the media who covered my trial in a manner which exposed the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case for all the world to see,” he said.

“I reiterate the position, I hold no ill-will to anyone who was involved in my trial, and I put my faith in the judicial system and the appeal process on which we have now embarked. In the meantime I thank my family, friends and fans who continue to support and have faith in me.”

Meanwhile, Kartel’s family has spoken of their own fears following Sunday’s revelation about the deejay’s alleged offer to rat out criminals in exchange of freedom. The story, which also revealed Kartel’s alleged ties to the Klansman Gang, as well as more incriminating video evidence in the Williams murder trial, has the family concerned about possible retribution.

“This is endangering the lives of Adidja Palmer’s family, his siblings, and his girlfriend,” Maureen Nelson, Kartel’s eldest sister, told the Jamaica Observer. “When a news like this come on the radio and we don’t know if it is credible, we don’t know the source… and they don’t think about how it is affecting our lives.”

“Everybody is now crying. We thought that when he got sentenced to life in prison it would be over,” she continued. “We are locked up in the house right now. We have fears of reprisals and I don’t even know how John public will react to us.”

His mother, Teresa Palmer expressed her anger at the police’s revelations in the article and other news outlets, saying they had ulterior motives when divulging all this information long after the trial’s conclusion.

“When him a go come and a seh how much people Kartel kill and that never come out in the trial, him not doing him job,” she told the newspaper. “Why now when dem done tell lie seh him kill man and dem no find no body and police tamper with the evidence and give him life sentence dem a go seh all these things?” Palmer asked. “Why are all these things coming out now?”

Vybz Kartel and Shawn Storm speak out after life sentence, maintain innocence

Dancehall superstar, Vybz Kartel and his former Portmore Empire running mate, Shawn Storm continue to maintain their innocence despite their March 13 conviction on murder charges in the Clive 'Lizard' Williams trial.by Jodee Brown

Incarcerated Dancehall superstar, Vybz Kartel and long-time protégé, Shawn Storm have spoken out for the first time since their convictions and subsequent life sentence on murder charges in the Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams murder charges.

The two, along with Kahira Jones and Andre ‘Mad Suss’ St. John were sentenced Thursday, with Kartel not eligible for parole for the first 35 years of his sentence, while Shawn Storm will not be eligible until 25 years into his sentence. On Friday, the pair issued short, handwritten statements thanking fans for their undying support while continuing to maintain their innocence in spite of the convictions.

Kartel’s note said, “I would first like to again reiterate that I never killed Clive Williams nor did I order his killing. To my family I want to say thank you for being there for me. Equally to my fans whose unremitting support matters to me! Bless, Kartel.”

Shawn Storm offered similar sentiments to his supporters.

“To the fans and fams I am an innocent man and I am just saying I am good and in great health and spirit,” he said. “So from me to the fans and ma fams and my mother, daughter and family I am confident that in the long run I will be vindicated.”

Meanwhile, voice notes used as evidence against Kartel and his co-accused were released to Jamaican media on Friday, telling a damning tale of the events leading up to August 2011 murder of Williams. In said voice notes, which can be heard in their entirety here, Kartel continuously references the disappearance of ‘shoes,’ a code word for guns, according to testimony from the Crown’s main witness, Lamar Chow. An agitated Kartel can be heard threatening that if Chow or Williams did not find said ‘shoes’ by nightfall, one or both could face fatal consequences.

Additionally, the Police High Command issued a statement lauding the work done by law enforcement in the case while revealing the challenges encountered during the trial, detailing accusations of witness tampering, death threats, obeah ritualism and attempts to pervert the course of justice. The full statement can be read here.

Kartel, along with two others, faces an Aug. 11 court date, facing two conspiracy charges in relation to the Williams case.

 

Vybz Kartel sentenced to life in prison for murder

Dancehall superstar, Vybz Kartel and three of his co-accused have been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Clive 'Lizard' Willaimsby Jodee Brown

Controversial Dancehall superstar, Adidja Palmer, more popularly known as Vybz Kartel has been sentenced to life in prison for the August 2011 murder of St. Catherine-based dancer, Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams following a hearing in the Home Circuit Court in Kingston on Thursday.

The deejay will not be eligible for parole for the first 35 years of his prison term, when he is 73 years old. His co-accused, Shawn ‘Shawn Storm’ Campbell, Kahira Jones and Andre ‘Mad Suss’ St. John were also sentenced to life in prison, with the men not eligible for parole until 25, 25 and 30 years into their respective sentences, handed down by Supreme Court justice, Lennox Campbell.

Kartel was decked out in a full white suit and white shirt as he appeared cool and calm upon waiting for the judge’s ruling. Similar to last week’s hearing, the deejay maintained his innocence before the court, saying, through his lawyers, that he would not beg for mercy and accept the punishment handed down.

Justice Campbell that made a summation, saying there was premeditation and planning about the murder, while saying there was much distress for the family of the deceased Williams. He then handed down the sentences shortly before 11:30 a.m. Jamaican time.

Kartel’s legal team has indicated they will appeal his murder conviction before the end of this year.

Part of downtown Kingston was blocked a group of his loyal supporters gathered outside the courthouse, expressing anger and dismay at the sentencing, with some expressing uncontrollable sadness.

Judge in Kartel case may not allow deejay to record in prison

Vybz Kartel awaits sentencing following a murder conviction. Meanwhile the judge considers allowing him to record in prison.

Vybz Kartel awaits sentencing following a murder conviction. Meanwhile the judge considers allowing him to record in prison.

by Jodee Brown

With incarcerated deejay, Vybz Kartel awaiting sentencing on his recent murder conviction in the Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams, doubt is now being cast on whether or not the entertainer will be permitted to record in prison as the presiding judge in said case may not let him do so.

During Kartel’s sentencing hearing on Thursday, Supreme Court Justice, Lennox Campbell said he was pondering whether or not to make a ruling allowing the deejay to record songs while in jail, saying he was not sure such an option was available.

One case Justice Campbell referred to involving another convicted entertainer was Reggae superstar, Jah Cure. The singer was convicted of rape in 1999 and served eight years in prison following an alleged incident a year earlier in which he allegedly raped a robbed a woman at gunpoint. While serving time in the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre, Cure was allowed to record a number of songs during his prison term, including hit songs, Reflections and Dem Nuh Build Great Man, which featured on his fourth album, True Reflections…A New Beginning.

“In a previous matter when a person was convicted who had some artistic talent certain things were done,” Justice Campbell told the court. “It needs to be found out whether in fact it was open to the court for any of those proceeds gained could go to repairing any of the damages to the relatives of the deceased.”

However, a former prison official told the Jamaica Observer Thursday that only if Kartel is deemed fit to be part of a rehabilitation program, depending on his conduct, by the Department of Correctional Services would he be allowed to record while incarcerated.

Since his arrest in September 2011, many music observers have suspected that Kartel has been recording behind bars, with songs such as Back To Life and others singled out as potential proof. However, his record label and long-time producer, Elvis Redwood have vehemently denied on numerous occasion that the deejay has ever recorded behind bars, citing that they were all done prior to his incarceration.

The sentencing of Vybz Kartel and his three co-accused, Shawn ‘Shawn Storm’ Campbell, Kahira Jones and Andre ‘Mad Suss’ St. John was postponed this morning until April 3 after the judge decided to facilitate written statements from defense lawyers clarifying sentencing guidelines. It is also said that Justice Campbell would like to see a member of the victim’s family attend the sentencing.

Kartel and his co-accused were convicted of Williams’ August 2011 murder in which it was alleged he was beaten and stabbed to death following a dispute over missing, illegal guns.

Kartel fans petition Obama administration for retrial, deejay’s mom speaks out

Fans of incarcerated deejay, Vybz Kartel are petitioning the United States government asking for them to look into the deejay's murder conviction in an attempt to overturn it.

Fans of incarcerated deejay, Vybz Kartel are petitioning the United States government asking for them to look into the deejay’s murder conviction in an attempt to overturn it.

by Jodee Brown

Despite Vybz Kartel’s conviction on a murder charge on Thursday, his family and fans are clinging on the smallest bit of hope the deejay can beat his current predicament, as dire as it may be.

His fans in particular are going to the extremes to try and secure and out for the self-professed ‘Worl’ Boss’ as they have petitioned the United States government to help free him. The petitions, started this weekend, claim that Vybz Kartel did not receive a fair trial in the Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams case, which he and three co-accused were convicted of his August 2011 murder.

One of the petitions claimed evidence tampering by police during their investigation, citing alleged corruption and bias against him throughout, though that petition has seen been stopped. A second petition, started on Sunday, is hoping to secure 100,000 signatures by April 15 so it can be formally presented to U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration.

Meanwhile Kartel’s mother and sister have spoken out for the first time since the Mar. 13 verdict. His mother, Teresa Palmer gave an exclusive interview with the Jamaica Observer on Friday in which she expressed anger and sadness at the situation, suggesting many ‘lies’ have been told on her son.

“I don’t like that. A lot of lies were told. They tampered with the phones,” she said. “Dem man yah no need no sentence. Dem must go a road. Dem haffi let go mi pickney.”

Palmer said she has not eaten since the verdict and is trying to cope with the news. She believes, however, that several people have unfairly judged her son because of his hardcore lyrics and persona he presents.

“They say who God bless, no man curse,” she said. “You can fight against a man like this? You [should] fight against people who come into your community and rob, rape and kill. I don’t know why society is fighting the man and he never took anything from them.”

Kartel’s sister, Morine Nelson even chimed in, challenging an assertion by Jamaica’s security minister, Peter Bunting that her brother’s music has promoted crime over the years, while insisting people should stop hating the deejay without knowing his background.

Vybz Kartel and his co-accused will be sentenced on March 27. However, his legal team has indicated they will file an appeal to overturn the conviction.

Meanwhile a juror in the Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams case, Livingston Cain has been charged with five counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice after allegedly offering millions of dollars to sway other jurors in the case to render a not guilty verdict for Kartel and company. He will appear in the Half Way Tree Magistrates Court on March 18.