Caribbean Fever - Your ONLY destination to all things Caribbean and more
Lawyers representing dancehall star Vybz Kartel are heading to court to seek compensation from the State for his detention.
Kartel, whose correct name is Adijah Palmer, spent a little more than two weeks in custody after he was detained under the state of emergency.
But attorney-at-law, Valerie Neita-Robertson, believes the State overstepped its bounds and she wants compensation for the artiste, who was finally released by the police about 7:30 p.m. last Friday.
According to Neita-Robertson, National Security Minister Dwight Nelson had signed an order on Tuesday, July 13, authorising the release of Kartel.
She told The Sunday Gleaner that her client’s prolonged detention resulted in him losing several contracts, including a show he was booked to perform in in Nassau, Bahamas, yesterday.
“They do not respect or regard authority. They have no respect for anybody, and this has to stop,” said Neita-Robertson.
“From what was told to me, utterances were made to certain media personnel by police officers that they were not releasing him until today (Saturday). I would draw a conclusion from that they didn’t want him to meet this engagement,” Neita-Robertson said
She alleged that the detention order which her client was served did not state a reason as to why he was being detained.
The attorney said while the police’s interview with Kartel was very cordial, there was no specific offence which the police sought to question him about.
“When an order is given under the law, then the law must have its course. Police cannot just decide that they are not doing what they are supposed to do and we sit back and accept it,” an obviously upset Neita-Robertson told The Sunday Gleaner.
“We want to cooperate and want crime to go down, but we will not put up with slackness.”
Neita-Robertson charged that Kartel was not the only person who had been kept in police custody after the national security minister signed their release order.
She said several other persons, including women, were being illegally held by the police despite the order for their release.
The attorney said she had also been informed by the national security minister that one of her clients was to be released and placed under house arrest on the recommendation of the Emergency Powers Review Tribunal.
“That was days ago, and it has not been carried out,” said Neita-Robertson.
As one of dancehall’s hottest acts around now, particularly with his hit Clarkes enjoying heavy rotation, Kartel demands, and is guaranteed, top dollar for each show.
Last week, his publicist, Claude Mills, said due to his incarceration, two shows in the Caribbean were postponed. The shows were scheduled to be held in The Bahamas and Trinidad on July 17 and 24, respectively.
He also missed Tidal Wave, which was held at Waves Beach in Portmore, St Catherine, one week ago, leaving his bank book millions of dollars lighter.