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Court orders investigation into alleged tampering with cell phone in Vybz Kartel murder case

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Posted: Wednesday, June 16, 2021. 4:36 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The Jamaican Supreme Court has ordered analysis of a cellular phone belonging to entertainer and convicted murderer Adidja Palmer, better known by his stage name Vybz Kartel, for alleged tampering, the Jamaica Gleaner reports.

Palmer is appealing his conviction along with three others for the August 16, 2011, murder of associate Clive “Lizard” Williams in Havendale, St Andrew; each are seeking to have their life sentences overturned at the Privy Council.

The phone allegedly contains damning text and voice messages linking Palmer to the murder of Williams. The exhibit is among four evidential materials that the defence team had obtained permission from the Supreme Court to examine via a court order received on May 13, the others being a marked DVD containing a video of the murder, DVD with voice notes, and a compact disc.

Palmer; Andre St John; Shawn Campbell, alias ‘Shawn Storm’; and Kahira Jones were sentenced respectively to 35, 30 and 20 years each to life in prison, but on appeal had these reduced by two years each.

Judge Leighton Pusey ordered that the items are to be made available to the defence examiner on condition that the items do not leave the island and that the examiner not tamper with or change the original exhibit or any material. The items are to be examined in the presence of an officer of the court and an expert from the Crown.

The court also ordered that the items should only be handled by an officer of the court and the approved examiner.

Palmer’s defense attorney, Isat Buchanan, said that the defence has always taken the position that there was “significant tampering” with cell phone evidence.

Attorney John Clark is representing Jones and St John, while Bert Samuels is representing Campbell.

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