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Vybz Kartel’s Release Essential For Dancehall’s Future And His Survival, Says Buchanan

June 3rd, 2024

Vybz Kartel‘s attorney, Isat Buchanan, has declared the artist a “national treasure” whose freedom from prison is critical, especially in light of what he terms the “nonsense” music currently being released in Dancehall and the fact that the deejay’s heart condition is worsening.

In an interview with Television Jamaica’s Anthony Miller, following Judge Andrea Thomas’ rejection of the habeas corpus application he filed on behalf of Kartel, and his co-accused Shawn ‘Shawn Storm’ Campbell and Andre St John, Buchanan asserted that not only was time against Kartel, but also the Dancehall genre which is on the brink of collapse.

“He wants to go home. I think people need to appreciate, and I’ve said this a million times, like a broken record, a day in prison is like a thousand years,” Buchanan told Miller on Thursday.

“For a national treasure like Vybz Kartel to be put on in detention, or be put in on time out, in a race where you have almost a non-existent Dancehall industry with nonsense being put out, you would have to understand we are losing a serious contribution to music worldwide,” he added.

Continued Buchanan: “Because there are people who think that he should not be out, because they think for some strange reason when it comes to life and it comes to liberty, somehow only one life in Jamaica matter”.

The men were convicted in 2014 for the 2011 murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams over the disappearance of firearms.

When Miller posited that “there are other people who think that despite what looks to them to have been getting off on technicalities regarding their murder charge, that aura, that cloud of guilt remains” and “whether he gets out or not, he’s always going to be guilty for them,” Buchanan had a stern rebuke for those he deemed detractors.

“And I would say this, context matters. A lot of people that have opinions are dunces. I no longer waste my time to have conversations with people. Think about what is in the Constitution and respect the Constitution. If we start the moral argument, some of you will be embarrassed. Shut up, sit down, and respect the Constitution,” Buchanan said.

Vybz Kartel

With respect to Kartel’s health, Buchanan said that things do not look so good for the Any Weather singer in that regard, thus his need to be freed.

“My last update about his health from his doctor is that his heart is worse than the last time we spoke. She had, in a medical report, made it emphatically clear that the clock is ticking on his health. And the Privy Council responded expeditiously, and in the capacity, Justice McDonald Bishop in record time, responded,” he explained.

During the interview, Miller had made reference to High Court judge Justice Andrea Thomas’ “schooling” of Buchanan in her judgment where she ruled that Kartel and his co-accused incarcerated status did not breach the Constitution, as Buchanan had argued.

“Like the judge before us, Justice Thomas should be commended for responding in a day,” Buchanan, who, in court, had “thanked” the Judge for her “schooling,” said.

“What happened today was what I call appreciating, not delaying with judgment. She has given a gift, and I respect Justice Thomas for that. With no delay, she has put into the wheel of motion a possibility to put before the Court of Appeal the issue of the lacuna [gap in the law] that I speak on,” Buchanan said.

Kartel’s case will be heard on June 10 in the Court of Appeal.

In the meantime, while Jamaica deliberates Constitutional reform, Buchanan said that he is not in favor of ditching the Privy Council for the Caribbean Court of Justice. The Privy Council quashed Kartel and his co-accused murder convictions, citing juror misconduct, and sent the case back to the Court of Appeal to determine whether or not the trio ought to be retried.

“I’m not worried. And although the next Prime Minister would like to see CJ, I fancy the Privy Council,” Buchanan said.

This content was originally sourced and posted at DancehallMag »
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