Vybz Kartel got on early victory in the Court of Appeals today. The deejay’s attorney were successful in convincing the court to accept new evidence in the case despite strong opposition from the prosecution.
White it is only the first day of appeal, it is still a major victory for Kartel, his three co-accused and their legal team because it is rare that fresh evidence is allowed in an appeal case. Normally during an appeal the appellant is only allowed to argue about errors, mistakes and corruption in the original trial.
The new evidence includes an affidavit given by attorney-at-law Kimberli Whittaker.
Whittaker’s affidavit includes the statements of two jurors who served in the entertainers’ 2014 murder trial.
The two statements are part of the evidence in the corruption trial of another juror who allegedly tried to influence the seven-member panel to free Kartel and his co-accused.
Valerie Neita-Robertson, the attorney representing Kartel, said the statements indicated that during the murder trial one juror approached the jury foreman “and offered a bribe to return a verdict of not guilty”.
Pointing to the evidence that the jury foreman played a recording of the alleged bribe for her counterparts, Neita-Robertson said this meant the panel was provided with materials that made them incapable of sitting as jurors.
“This is relevant to the issue of a fair trial,” she argued.
“This is relevant to the issue of whether the trial judge, having that information before him (the alleged bribe), conducted the appropriate enquiry,” she continued.
Neita-Robertson further argued that had the judge conducted his enquiries, he would have discharged the jurors and order a new trial.
Bert Samuels, the attorney representing Shawn Storm also got the Court of Appeal to include, the handwritten statement of the main prosecution witness at the trial.
So not only was day of the appeal a great day for Vybz Kartel it might have been even greater for Shawn Storm.
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