Jamaican dancehall star Kartel loses appeal in murder trial

Vybz Kartel
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KINGSTON, Jamaica (Reuters) – A Jamaican court on Friday rejected an appeal by Vybz Kartel, an international reggae-dancehall star serving a minimum 35-year sentence for murder.

Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2014 after being convicted of the murder of associate Clive “Lizard” Williams. He has remained hugely popular even behind bars, and has continued to release music including a 2016 album.

Jamaican Court of Appeal Justice Dennis Morrison handed down the decision via teleconference, saying the appeal was denied because the defense team failed to prove that evidence had been mishandled, among other arguments.

Tom Tavares Finson, an attorney on Kartel’s defense team, said Kartel would now appeal to the U.K.-based privy council, Jamaica’s final court of appeal.

“It is open to us to appeal to the Privy Council, which is what we are in the process of doing,” Tavares Finson said.

Previously, Kartel had collaborated with artists like Jay-Z, Rihanna and Major Lazer.