Kahira Jones, an accused in the Vybz Kartel case, laments lack of intimacy

June 12, 2024

Kahira Jones, one of the accused in the Vybz Kartel case, has told a court that he has been deprived of the opportunity of intimacy and to create a family. 

Jones, who has been in custody since 2011, also disclosed that he has racked up a $70 million debt in trying to clear his name.

Jones, along with Adidja ‘Vybz Kartel' Palmer, Andre St John, and Shawn Campbell, are trying to convince the Court of Appeal not to rule that they should be retried for the 2011 murder of Clive Williams. 

In March, the UK-based Privy Council, Jamaica's final court, threw out their convictions and sent the case back to the Court of Appeal to determine whether there should be a retrial.  

That hearing started on Monday. 

Today, attorney-at-law, Iqbal Cheverria, while making oral arguments on behalf of Jones, asked the court to assess the ordeal faced by his client who went into custody at age 27.

He pointed to Jones’ affidavit in which the accused man said he is now 40, and the continued criminal process has deprived him of creating a family.

“He was unable to enjoy a protected right,” Cheverria added.

Justice Marva Bishop McDonald, who is leading a panel of judges comprising Justices David Fraser and Paulette Williams, enquired about conjugal visits and was told that Jones has not been afforded that privilege. 

Cheverria also asked that the financial challenges faced by Jones be taken into account when weighing the decision for retrial.

Jones, he shared, disclosed in his affidavit that he had to take out loans to pay for his legal fee when he was appealing the conviction before the Court of Appeal. He said those loans have not been repaid.

“If it wasn’t for the mercy of God and the kind help of one of the appellants I would not have been able to have my appeal heard before the Privy Council,” the lawyer read further.

Turning to the prosecution's case against Jones, Cheverria submitted that there was no technical or forensic evidence against his client placing him at the crime scene.

 He also argued that there were inconsistencies in the evidence against Jones from the main eyewitness in the case.

The lawyer asked that the prosecution not be allowed a second opportunity to present fresh against Jones in hopes of strengthening its case. He said that would be unfair.

Jones is serving an 18-year prison term for gun-related offences. The sentence was imposed in 2019. 

- Tanesha Mundle

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