Where is Vybz Kartel right now? The possibility of his freedom from imprisonment

Vybz Kartel

Vybz Kartel’s popularity and catalog of achievements in the music scene are rivaled by his ample controversial moments in the public eye. On September 2011, Cartel was arrested on murder charges of a Jamaican businessman called Barrington Burton.

While he managed to get bail for the Burton murder case, he was charged with yet another murder of an associate, Clive “Lizard” Williams, in the same year. Currently, he is incarcerated at the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre in Jamaica after being convicted of the crime.

Kartel, who is still in incarceration in Jamaica, recently got engaged to Sidem Ozturk in prison

On March 13, 2014, Kartel, along with three accomplices, was found guilty of murdering Clive Williams by the jury following a lengthy 65-day long trial.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment with the eligibility for parole after 35 years. During the trial, evidence came forth of Kartel discussing the killing and dismembering of Williams in text messages and investigators also uncovered illegal firearms in his house.

Kartel was 38 years old at the time of the sentencing and has since been incarcerated for 8 years. While serving time in the Horizon Adult Remand Centre (a prison in Jamaica), he began a relationship with Sidem Ozturk, a Turkish social worker based in London.


The pair first corresponded in 2015 and only met each other in person in 2019 after Ozturk moved to Jamaica to be closer to Kartel. In the summer of 2022, they got engaged during an authorized prison visit.

Ozturk called their engagement “a dream come true” and claimed that Kartel was a “smart” man with “an amazing heart”.

“How it happened was, we were just calling each other ‘hubby’ and ‘wifey” and he was like, ‘We’re heading toward marriage so you calling me hubby, or me calling you wifey is not serious enough. So, you’re my fiancée, we’re going to get married’,” Ozturk told Fox 5 in an interview.

Vybz Kartel continues to maintain his innocence – He is appealing to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom

Despite the guilty verdict, Kartel maintains his innocence and appealed against the judgment in 2018, alleging the falsification of evidence and errors in the trial that took place. However, a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals in Jamaica upheld the original conviction on April 3, 2020.

According to Kartel’s attorney Isat Buchanan, a forensic digital expert from Britain confirmed the existence of evidence tampering in the trial.

As a result, the defense team is now appealing to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, which is the highest court of appeal for the commonwealth countries. If the council were to overturn the conviction, Kartel could walk free and lead a normal life with his fiancée.

“I was sick for a few years, so definitely I’m recovering physically, but mentally I have always been in a good place because I know I’m innocent and I know I’m coming out,” said Kartel in a jailhouse interview.

In September 2022, Kartel was transferred to the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre

In recent developments, the Department of Correctional Services of Jamaica abruptly decided to transfer Kartel from the Horizon Adult Remand Centre to the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre under hazardous weather conditions.

Attorney Buchanan called the transfer that took place on September 29, 2023, during heavy rainfall “an attempt at Kartel’s life”. He also questioned the “deliberate and negligent” timing of the transfer that came days after Ozturk’s exclusive interview with Fox 5, saying:

“Transferring Mr. Palmer in the rain causing him to get wet given his medical condition is an attempt at his life. I am concerned for his safety and health. The move comes following the airing of an interview on fox 5 by his fiancé as well as the eve of the anniversary of his arrest 11 years ago.”

Vybz Kartel has released chart-topping music from prison, including four albums and numerous singles, that reached Billboard Reggae Charts and other local music charts.