Kartel facing charge of perverting course of justice
KINGSTON – Convicted entertainer Adidja Vybz Kartel Palmer and his co-accused Vanessa Gaza Slim Saddler are scheduled to go on trial on October 27 for allegedly attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Presiding Magistrate Simone Wolf-Reece, in fixing the trial date yesterday in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court, said only “divine intervention” could prevent the trial from commencing.
The attempting to pervert the course of justice trial involving the two entertainers and their co-accused Andre Henry, alias “Pim Pim”, was initially scheduled to begin on Monday, but was unable to start because of late disclosure; unsettled legal representation for Henry; the absence of a defence attorney; and also the unavailability of witnesses.
Hence, the matter was scheduled yesterday for the outstanding issues to be settled. But when the case was mentioned, the prosecutor informed the magistrate that the Crown was unable to ascertain when one of the technical witnesses from telecommunications provider Digicel would be available as he was currently on vacation.
The prosecutor also reported that another technical witness from Digicel, who was expected to testify, would not be able to do so as he was no longer employed to the company and that the Crown would require a new statement from the person who has replaced him. In addition, attorney Peter Champagnie, who was representing Henry, told the court that he was no longer representing the accused as Henry was unable to fulfil his financial obligations.
Consequently, a new mention date was scheduled for August 29 for the prosecution to submit the new statement and to inform the court when the Digicel witness would be available. The magistrate, who again expressed her frustration with the continuous delay, told the Crown and the defence that she was willing to mention the case every single day in order to have the trial begin. She then warned the prosecution to make certain that they get the statement and contact the witnesses.
“You ensure that you do what you have to do cause no matter what, the only thing that can prevent the case from starting is if the Lord says so,” she said.
She then instructed Henry to ensure that he got a lawyer by October, as the matter would be proceeding whether he had one or not. Henry and Saddler then had their bail extended, while Vybz Kartel, who is serving time for murder, was taken back to prison.
The three accused were charged after Saddler allegedly filed a police report stating that she was robbed at gunpoint by a man she identified as Clive Lizard Williams. The alleged incident happened after Vybz Kartel was charged with Williams’ murder and for which he is now serving time.
Investigators alleged that Saddler made the report to give the impression that Williams was not dead, in an attempt to assist Vybz Kartel’s case.