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Vybz Kartel has no plans to record in prison, says lawyer

Vybz Kartel, who was handed a life sentence on Thursday following his murder conviction last month, has no intention to record in prison, according to his lawyer
Vybz Kartel, who was handed a life sentence on Thursday following his murder conviction last month, has no intention to record in prison, according to his lawyer
File photo

The life sentence handed down Thursday to convicted Jamaican entertainer, Vybz Kartel could mean the end of his music career, with his lawyer saying the deejay will not be recording while serving time.

Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, was handed the sentence, with the first 35 years served without being eligible for parole, in relation to a murder conviction three weeks earlier after being found guilty, alongside three co-accused, in the August 2011 murder of Clive 'Lizard' Williams in St. Andrew. One of the main talking points following the March 13 verdict was whether or not the controversial Dancehall star would be allowed to record music while behind bars, a privilege afforded to Reggae singer, Jah Cure following his rape conviction in 1999.

That now appears to be a moot point after Kartel's lawyer, Tom Tavares-Finson told the Jamaica Gleaner Thursday afternoon that his client opted not to record while incarcerated.

"He has no intention of recording while in custody," he said. "The person was not convicted to do music, he was convicted to do hard labour."

During last week's sentencing hearing, Supreme Court Justice, Lennox Campbell was openly pondering whether or not to make a ruling that would allow Kartel to record. However, Tavares-Finson rubbished the judge's proposal.

"That is the most ridiculous proposition I have ever heard that he [Kartel] should be given authority to record while in custody," he said.

Prosecutors in the case have said such arrangements to allow Kartel to record behind bars can only be made between the artist and the commissioner of corrections, pointing to the Corrections Act for their case.