By Gil Kaufman
Jamaican dancehall star Vybz Kartel (born Adidja Palmer) will stay behind bars until at least next Wednesday, when a judge will decide whether to grant the singer bail as he awaits trial on two murder cases.
According to the Jamaican Gleaner, that's when the judge in the case will make a ruling on the bail request made by Kartel's attorney's on Thursday. But, before that, Kartel will be back in gun court on Monday in connection with the second murder charge that recently brought against him. In that case, he is accused in the death of Clive "Lizard" Williams.
Kartel, 35, has been in custody since October 1, when he and three other men were arrested at a New Kingston hotel for possession of marijuana; he was charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder and possession of firearm three days later in the July 12 death of promoter Barrington "Bossie" Burton. Williams was killed on August 16 and his body has not yet been found.
MTV Iggy recently spoke to Christian Tavares-Finson, a key member of Kartel's defense team, who refuted a story that circulated last month that police had questioned his client about a partially burned body allegedly recovered from one of his properties.
“That is not true,” said Tavares-Finson. "I don’t know where the press got that from.” Those initial reports, it turns out, were somewhat overstated. Palmer was questioned and several of his properties raided. But the residence in question—a house in the Havendale section of Kingston—was apparently not Palmer’s."
Tavares-Finson also said that the first murder charge is a conspiracy count, which he explained charges that Kartel "[told] people that they should go and kill an individual who was shot in an area of Portmore [where Burton was killed].”
Though Assistant Police Commissioner Ealan Powell said the murder charges were part of a larger investigation of Vybz’ activities, covering not only the two murders but other shootings and alleged gun-running, Tavares-Finson was bullish about Kartel's chances in court. “I am of the view that if I were the police I would have put my best foot forward. So if you apply that theory, the first murder with which he was charged would be the most significant one … the most solid or the most probable for the prosecution to secure a conviction. As far we are concerned, that case is tenuous at best. So if that is the best case that they have at this stage, I am not sure what is to follow."