Dancehall entertainer Vybz Kartel this morning testified in his defence as his murder trial comes closer to a close.
The Crown is alleging that Kartel, entertainer Shawn Campbell, popularly known as Shawn Storm; André St John; Shane Williams; and Kahira Jones, murdered Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams on August 16, 2011.
This morning after Justice Lennox Campbell told the court that Kartel that he and his co-accused had a case to answer, the artiste testified from the dock in his own defence.
Read what Kartel had to say:
“I am a normal person like anyone else.
“I am innocent of all these charges brought against me as a matter of fact I have never been to 7 Swallowfield Avenue and seen Lizard there - the man called Clive Williams.
“In fact my Lord, the only time I encountered that person called Clive Williams, is when he travelled with Shawn [co-accused Shawn Storm] to stage shows but we never encounter my Lord.
“My Lord, the incident that occurred on September 30, 2011 (the date of his arrest) I was at a hotel in New Kingston when the police took me and a female companion.
“My Lord they handcuffed us and took us downstairs in the lobby. Other police officers and members of the media were already there.
“My Lord after that [I] was taken to Central Kingston Police Station.
“After that the police escorted me to my house in St. Andrew, two houses as a matter of fact - one house at Swallow Avenue and then to my mother’s house in Portmore, St. Catherine - where the house was searched.
“I was then moved to Spanish Town Road (where he thought was the headquarters of the Major Investigation Taskforce).
Kartel told the court that few days after doing a question and answer session, the investigating officer, who at the time was an inspector, charged him for murder.
He said he was denied bail because of false stories that the police said about him.
According to Kartel, he had to make a report to the Independent Commission of Investigations while he was in custody because he was accused of possessing cellphones.
“Even most recently, the Minister of National Security Minister, the Honourable Peter Bunting took my music and my image to the State, my Lord claiming that Vybz Kartel’s lyrics, My Lord, is generating scamming.
“Even in Jamaica at one point, the Minister said there were four essential factors mashing up Jamaica and I was one of them.
“My Lord, if that is not prejudicial against my case, I don’t know what is.
“My Lord, I bleach my skin, I am heavily tattooed also but that is merely superficial. That is a part of the persona of Vybz Kartel not Adidja Palmer.
“I am a normal person like anyone else; I even have a family who are here today... grandmother, cousin, mother-in law. My Lord my hands are clean of Clive Williams’ blood if indeed Clive Williams is deceased, My Lord.
“I have never sent anyone to kill Clive Williams, My Lord, nor did I do so myself. I am an innocent man, My Lord, that is all I have to say.”
Today, Kartel also called his sister, Maureen Nelson, who is the vice principal of the Cumberland High School, to give character evidence.
She said Kartel is the third of six children, and she’s the eldest.
Nelson said they are a very close-knit family and that Kartel is very kind.
As she testified, Kartel was seeing wiping his eyes.
“When he started out as a DJ, the first things he did was buy a house for his mother and a car for his father,” she said.
She said both parents are still together.
The educator said their parents ensured that they attended church on Sundays and school from Mondays to Fridays.
She added that people in the community called them 'grill up' because they were always inside when other children were outside playing.