Classing his appeal hearing in Jamaica as “a joke, a kangaroo court, a circus”, dancehall artiste Vybz Kartel is confident he will be free if his case is brought before the Privy Council in the United Kingdom.
In an interview with Billboard, Kartel extolled the virtues of the Privy Council. “I would like to say re the Privy Council that I am going to be out soon. Law and statute are what the council deals in, not corruption,” he said in his first interview in almost four years.
The incarcerated dancehall star is serving a life sentence for the 2011 murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams.
“SINCE I GOT ARRESTED, OVER 11,000 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN MURDERED IN JAMAICA; THE GENERAL PUBLIC COULDN’T CARE LESS BECAUSE VYBZ KARTEL OR ANOTHER STAR’S NAME ISN’T MENTIONED.”
– VYBZ KARTEL
“Being in prison for the last nine years definitely took a toll on my family, my parents, and especially my kids, early on. It caused me and my woman’s (Shorty) relationship to be destroyed as far as intimate love is concerned but we’re very cool and have never been in a better place,” Kartel told Billboard.
Although imprisoned, Kartel has been dominating the music industry and is set to release his album, Of Dons and Divas, on June 26. This will be his second album this year.
He also appears to have a very active social media life, using his Instagram account of more than one million followers to voice his opinion on issues.
In the weeks leading up to his appeal here in Jamaica, Vybz Kartel appeared to be very confident of a win, and even briefly appeared on an Instagram Live video.
But his anticipation was short-lived after a judge only shaved a mere two years off his sentence. This has led Vybz Kartel to believe he will never get a fair trial in Jamaica.
“Since I got arrested, over 11,000 people have been murdered in Jamaica; the general public couldn’t care less because Vybz Kartel or another star’s name isn’t mentioned,” Kartel stated.
“Everyone is concerned with where Lizard is. Kids have been murdered but, whatever, they’re just kids…elderly have been murdered but that’s nothing…they were gonna die anyway. ‘WE WANT JUSTICE FOR LIZARD!!!’ is their cry. F–king idiots. Over 11,000 people and no national outcry. I don’t even blame government as much anymore because as the Jamaican saying goes, ‘if patient don’t care, what doctor must do?’ So, there is no fair trial.” he said.
Vybz Kartel’s optimism about his case being heard at the Privy Council is also shared by his legal team who will be moving a motion in the Court of Appeal in Jamaica on Monday, June 29.
“Regardless of the outcome at the Court of Appeal, we are going before the Privy Council because the rules allow it; we should be there by the end of 2020 or the beginning of 2021.” Isat Buchanan, the lead attorney in Kartel’s case said.
Although Vybz Kartel did not divulge to Billboard how he’s still able to record music while in prison because it’s ‘above his pay grade’, he gave no indication that he would stop either.
“The true secret to success is commitment, hard work, smart work, self-analysis and most important, humility,” he said.
“Once I face a riddim (rhythm track), I’m not worldboss, just a man with a pen, paper and a track. Other artists are working hard, so I think it’s just the formula.”