A London court on Thursday overturned Jamaican singer Vybz Kartel’s conviction for the murder of an associate.


The 48-year-old dancehall artiste has been in jail in Jamaica since the disappearance of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams, whose body is yet to be found.

Kartel and three others were convicted in 2014 after a 64-day trial which was one of the longest in the history of the country.

The music star was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 35 years. The sentence was later reduced to 32-and-a-half years.


Last month, Kartel and his co-defendants appealed before the Privy Council, the highest court of appeal in Jamaica and some other commonwealth countries.

Their lawyers argued that the trial judge wrongly handled allegations and that one juror offered 500,000 Jamaican dollars – around $3,200 – to fellow jurors to return not guilty verdicts.

BBC reports that Kartel and his co-defendants identified as Shawn Campbell, Kahira Jones and Andre St John successfully appealed on grounds of juror misconduct.


David Lloyd-Jones, the presiding judge, said the trial judge’s decision to allow the juror alleged to have offered bribes to continue on the jury was “fatal to the safety of the convictions”.

Lloyd-Jones added that it is “an infringement of the defendants’ fundamental right to a fair hearing”.

The court ruled that the allegations of bribery were serious enough to dismiss the guilty verdicts.

The Privy Council sent the case back to the court of appeal in Jamaica to decide whether the defendants should stand trial again.


Kartel, born Adidja Palmer, is one of Jamaica’s most popular artistes. He has collaborated with performers such as Jay-Z and Rihanna.

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