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.