Did Vybz Kartel plan to Flee Jamaica by Boat to Cuba or Bahamas?
THE prosecution in the Vybz Kartel murder case on Friday disclosed tantalizing new details in the matter as it successfully opposed a bail application for the artiste in the Home Circuit Court.
According to the prosecution, it was in possession of text messages between Kartel and an unidentified person discussing arrangements for the artiste to flee the island — via aeroplane or a drug boat to Cuba or The Bahamas — in the wake of the murder Clive 'Lizard' Williams, a friend of Kartel's.
Senior prosecutor Jeremy Taylor read excerpts of the texts which included mention of contacts within the police force and the apparent cleaning of Kartel's Havendale, St Andrew house where Williams was reportedly killed on August 16, 2011.
"If mi haffi leave the island fast you assist me? You have a link to mek mi leave the island fast?" read an alleged text by Kartel.
Response: "Yea, by boat."
The Bahamas and Cuba were discussed at one point and a possible pick-up point at St Elizabeth.
"Mi no waa wait 'til things get hot...," Kartel is reported to have said in another text.
According to Taylor, the texts trail was found in Kartel's phone when he was arrested at the end of September 2011 at a hotel in Kingston.
Taylor said also that Kartel had twice made plans for the main witness to the alleged murder to leave the island for Guyana but that he refused to go.
The artiste — who sported a brown suit and black shirt with tie and short dreadlocks — sat looking on as the prosecution opposed the application made by attorney Tom Tavares-Finson who appeared with his son Chris.
Kartel, whose real name is Adidjah Palmer, is charged along with Gaza Empire stablemate Shawn 'Shawn Storm' Campbell, Andre St John, Kahira Jones, Calvin Hay and Shane Williams.
Williams was reportedly beaten to death over the disappearance of two illegal firearms. According to the prosecution, the witness ran from the premises on a second attempt after being held by Kartel who told him that he wouldn't be harmed.
The men are to be tried in mid-November.
On Friday, the senior Tavares-Finson started his bail application around midday and ended an hour later at the luncheon adjournment. At the break, police attending court and lawyers reasoned among themselves that the prosecution would have to "work magic" in order for the court to turn down what they described as an "expertly made" bail application.
But some of them appeared shocked when Justice Bertram Morrison turned down the application.
During the application, Tavares-Finson took the court through a number of circumstances in an effort to show a conspiracy by the police against his client.
The actions, according to Tavares-Finson, included a lie by a senior police officer that three cellular phones were found in Kartel's cell. Tavares-Finson said the senior cop had said during a previous in-chambers bail application that the phones were discovered after texts were sent to the witness to influence him against co-operating with the police. He said that charges ought to be brought against the senior cop.
Tavares-Finson also highlighted the fact that the prosecution had originally said that there was video evidence of Williams being murdered but had to resile from that position after the defence requested the video.
To strengthen his argument that there was a conspiracy against his client, Tavares-Finson also pointed out that Kartel's phone was in the custody of the police when it was alleged that he sent texts to fellow entertainer Gaza Slim, which led to charges of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice being brought against them.
As it relates to Williams' murder, the attorney said that the witness had not said in any statement that Kartel took part in beating the deceased or ordered anyone to do so. He also said that DNA evidence does not link Williams or Kartel to the Havendale house. He said, too, that the house, which was being renovated at the time, was dark and that the only light present was that on a cellphone.