Mr. Vegas Says There’s No Victory For Vybz Kartel Because He’s Already Served Time

Dancehall star Vybz Kartel and his attorneys have been rejoicing over the recent overturning of his murder conviction, but his peer Mr. Vegas says there’s nothing to celebrate. 

Pending the Court of Appeal’s decision to retry the case, attorneys for the ‘World Boss’ and his co-accused are eyeing bail following his appeal win at the Judicial Committee of the UK Privy Council last week. 

Kartel has been in lock-up since 2011, with a conviction handed down in 2014 for the murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams, whose body is yet to be found.  

Looking on, Mr. Vegas doesn’t consider the repealed conviction a victory, as Kartel has already served time behind bars. 

“It nuh matter if Kartel dem come a road right now, tomorrow, you cannot replace time, “ the Bruk It Down singjay reasoned on Instagram Live on Monday.

“Him cya override time. Shawn Storm dem and the other co-accused dem cannot erase the time weh dem serve already. Thirteen years a 13 years – dat done serve already… Dah 13 years deh, yuh missing from yuh family already. Dah 13 years deh, yuh off the street. Dah 13 years deh, yuh inna lock up. Dah 13 years deh, yuh have people a watch over you, a guard yuh, a tell you when fi eat, sleep, drink, bathe, everything.”

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Vybz Kartel

If anything, Mr. Vegas says the prosecution, headed by Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn, is in a favorable position as they were able to secure the initial conviction. 

“Paula Llewellyn and her team had nothing to lose at this Privy Council hearing; Kartel dem done rub 13 years already inna prison… That a 13 years away from society, inna lock up, inna dutty prison weh Kartel get sick, haffi deh a doctor.”

The Gaza Empire founder has had multiple health scares during his incarceration, with the most recent battle being Graves’ disease and two heart conditions that his lawyer Isat Buchanan deemed life-threatening in 2023. Besides the physical drawbacks of confinement, Mr. Vegas said Kartel will never be the same, referencing Buju Banton, who served a decade in a US federal prison for a drug conviction.

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Buju Banton

“The justice system nuh lose,” he said. “Nuh matter how much songs Kartel and Shawn Storm dem come out and do, no matter how much shows, money him mek, it’s like Buju Banton get 10 years in prison. Buju cya replace dat. All now mi not even sure if a Buju dem send back. Your whole mental status change when yuh inna lockdown so many years; when you’re confined to walls for so many years… Mi nuh matter how bad a man is…how brave, bold, whatever, yuh cya be the same.”

A couple of months into his catalytic arrest and detainment, Kartel’s camp released Back to Life, shedding light on the grim environment behind bars. The lyrics, in part, state:

The food a sh*t, the bed a concrete 
Sunday Gleaner a mi damn sheet
Yuh cya sleep dead, mi a warn yuh 
A pure roach and rat a crawl pon yuh 
When di cage lock, yuh haffi tug it up
Inna dem place yah dutty like rubbish truck 
Mi just a pree back happy days, memories 
Weh mi kids, weh mi wife, weh mi Benz is…

In 2011, his three children with Tanesha ‘Shorty’ Johnson were all minors, and are now adult deejays Likkle Vybz and Likkle Addi, and teenager World Boss Jr. Kartel reportedly opened up about being away from his children to Gaza affiliate Tommy Lee Sparta while the latter was locked up for two years

“Wah day me and Kartel, cause we have a thing called recreation where we go down and play football more while…” the Sparta deejay told the 2023 Reggae Sumfest crowd. “We a reason bout we youth dem and him a seh, ‘Tommy Lee, when my youth a baby, mi deh a prison, and now dem have baby’, and mi a seh, ‘God know dawg’. It rough in deh.”

Moving forward, Mr. Vegas wants Kartel and his team to “tone it down” on the internet, referencing Buchanan’s jocose post, which insinuated that St. Thomas’ spiritual leaders should work their magic on Kartel’s case.

“There’s no victory to celebrate when it comes on to Vybz Kartel and his co-accused versus the justice system, just hope seh some level heads can prevail,” he said. “If I were Buchanan and his team…I woulda tone it down… Dem a antagonise an ego and I don’t think it’s healthy… If unno really care bout the accused dem, tone it down…”

“The field negros can’t go up against the justice system and win so easy, just learn that. It nuh matter how much of a star you are, just learn that. The confidence weh the Privy Council placed on the Jamaica justice system to send back the case to them is telling… Unno need fi tone it down.”

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