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Vybz Kartel found guilty of murder in Jamaica

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Vybz Kartel has been found guilty of murder in a high-profile trial in Jamaica.

The popular dancehall and reggae star and three co-defendants were convicted under tight security of killing an associate, Clive Lizard Williams, in a row over a missing gun.

Parts of the capital Kingston were cordoned off in advance of the verdict and police patrols were stepped up.

Vybz Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, is one of the biggest names in Jamaican dancehall reggae.

The “World Boss” as he called himself also often glorified violence in his music.

The 65-day trial was the longest running criminal hearing in the history of Jamaica’s circuit court system, local media reported.

Vybz Kartel has been found guilty of murder in a high profile trial in Jamaica 640x640 photo

Vybz Kartel has been found guilty of murder in a high-profile trial in Jamaica

Police cordoned off streets around the Supreme Court before Thursday’s session started, seeking to prevent any disruption by fans supporting the entertainer.

Shortly before the jury started to deliberate in the afternoon, about 200 people briefly broke through barricades at one intersection shouting “Free Kartel!”

The sentencing date is scheduled for March 27 and Vybz Kartel’s lawyers have indicated they will appeal against the verdict.

When Vybz Kartel was arrested in 2011, it was alleged he had been involved in two killings, but one of those cases was thrown out last year after key evidence went missing.

Prosecutors said that Clive Lizard Williams was beaten to death at Vybz Kartel’s home in August 2011 after being lured there to account for two missing illegal guns.

A body has never been found but police testified that they had unearthed a text message from Vybz Kartel’s phone saying Clive Lizard Williams had been chopped up to “mincemeat” so fine that his remains would never be found.

Defense lawyer Tom Tavares-Finson told jurors the prosecution’s case against Vybz Kartel was “dishonest” and “incompetent”, noting that witness statements and a compact disc with evidence saved on it had gone missing.

The AP news agency says that in a bizarre twist to the case, a male juror was arrested on Thursday evening on charges of attempting to bribe the jury foreman to free Vybz Kartel, who was convicted by a 10-1 majority verdict.