Vybz Kartel’s lawyer, no backlash for Fox interview

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    ISAT Buchanan, attorney-at-law representing incarcerated deejay Vybz Kartel, says it is highly unlikely that the dancehall deejay will be met with any repercussions following Wednesday’s interview with American host Lisa Evers from Fox 5 NY.

    According to Buchanan, the deejay was interviewed weeks ago.

    “He was moved from Spanish Town and several cellphones were confiscated from him. He was moved to Horizon [Adult Remand Centre] and since then [he] has been placed under daily supervision by soldiers; the highest level of security known to man. It can’t get any worse than that. What more could they possibly do after they’ve had him under so much supervision? What other sanctions could there be?”

    The second interview of the two-part series concluded last night.

    Social media went into a frenzy on Wednesday evening after Evers conducted an over-the-phone interview with the deejay from his cell at the Horizon Adult Remand Centre on Spanish Town Road in Kingston.

    Yesterday, prison authorities faced public backlash over the interview and a probe was launched by the Department of Correctional Services. Cellphones are regarded as contraband in prison.

    In the interview, Vybz Kartel — who is serving a life sentence for the 2011 murder of Clive “Lizard” Williams — expressed optimism at his possible release.

    “I’m basically just thinking about going home now because everything is drawing to a close, so I’m not worried about my health as much. I’m doing much better, you know…so it’s all good,” he said during part one of the interview on Wednesday.

    “God save the Queen! Because she’s the only one that can save me now,” he continued.

    His matter is currently before the United Kingdom-based Privy Council. Last month, high-profile attorney Bert Samuels, another of Vybz Kartel’s legal representatives, told the Observer that his cellphone, which featured prominently in his 2014 murder conviction, was being examined for tampering.

    Up to yesterday, Buchanan said there were no update in the appeal. He added that Vybz Kartel was within his constitutional rights to share his thoughts with the world.

    “I think freedom of expression is the most important right, so I don’t see a problem with him exercising his rights,” he said.

    This was the first time the deejay was speaking to a member of the media in almost 11 years. He noted that he was in a good place mentally, while maintaining his innocence.

    “I was sick for a few years, so definitely [I’m in a good place]. I’m recovering physically, but mentally I’ve always been in a good place because I know I’m innocent and I’m coming out,” he told Lisa Evers.

    Earlier this week, Vybz Kartel’s album, Born Fi Dis (Prelude), debuted at number 9 on the Billboard Reggae Albums Chart. The 12-track set is co-produced by Aiko Pon Di Beat/Vybz Kartel Muzik/Short Boss Muzik labels.

    Shawn Storm, a former member of Vybz Kartel’s Portmore Empire, was convicted along with his mentor on April 3, 2014 for the murder of Clive “Lizard” Williams in 2011. Kahira Jones and Andre St John were also convicted. All received life sentences from Justice Lennox Campbell.

    Vybz Kartel, whose given name is Adidja Palmer, was initially given 35 years before being eligible for parole. It was, however, reduced to 32 years and six months.

    Andre St John, who had to serve 30 years before being eligible for parole, had his time shaved down to 27 years and six months. Shawn Storm and Kahira Jones, who had to serve 25 years before being eligible, had theirs reduced to 22 years and six months.

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