Dancehall star Vybz Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, has had his 2014 murder conviction overturned by the Privy Council in London. The court ruled on Thursday, March 14th, 2024, that attempts to bribe jurors during the original trial a decade ago rendered the verdict unsafe.

Kartel, 48, was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2014 for the murder of his associate Clive “Lizard” Williams.

Williams disappeared in 2011 and his body has never been found.

Prosecutors argued Williams was killed at Kartel’s home after being accused of stealing guns.

The record-breaking 65-day trial in Jamaica resulted in a conviction, but questions lingered. 

This February, Kartel and his co-defendants launched their final appeal with the Privy Council, the highest court for Jamaica. Their argument centred on the judge’s handling of juror misconduct allegations.

One juror allegedly offered fellow jurors money to reach a not-guilty verdict. The Privy Council, in a judgement delivered by Lord Lloyd-Jones, agreed that allowing this juror to remain on the panel was a “fatal” error.

The case now returns to the Jamaican Court of Appeal, which will decide whether to order a retrial. Kartel remains in prison until this decision is made.

Vybz Kartel retains significant popularity in Jamaica and internationally for his music. 

This latest development leaves Kartel’s future uncertain but clears the way for a potential new trial.