Dancehall artist Popcaan’s attorney-at-law, Bert Samuels, says the artist has proof that the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) broadcasted false reports that he had a criminal conviction for cocaine and other offenses.
In an interview with TVJ’s Entertainment Report, the attorney shared that there is an email claiming Popcaan was convicted of cocaine and other drug charges sent by the JCF to 94 persons, some of whom were media houses and journalists.
Last year July, Popcaan shared several times that he had had issues traveling at the start of the year. He was briefly detained in July by the Home Office in London on his way to Ghana, where it was revealed that he had been flagged by police due to the past alleged criminal record.
His attorney says the JCF has filed a defense in response to Popcaan’s lawsuit, saying it did publish or cause to publish any defamatory statements.
However, Samuels said that’s not true.
“We found the email that the Jamaica Constabulary Force New Network pushed it out on. There were 94 recipients. So we have countered that part in a reply to their defence to say that you have – and we have the proof of it- we sent the email contacts list to them in the reply where it showed that they sent it to 94 recipients, half of which were news houses in Jamaica/ the Caribbean,” Samuels said.
Samuels said that the JCF was “caught with their hands in the cookie jar” after sending out the “falsehood”.
The attorney says he believes Popcaan will win his defamation case- “10 out of 10”.
Last year, Popcaan claimed that the JCF had allegedly supplied “false information” to British authorities to block him from travelling.
The artist had eventually pleaded with Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness to intervene after he was detained twice in the UK.
The Home Office has a policy against persons who have a criminal record and has, in the past, blocked those with criminal records from entering the country. It was later revealed that a “green notice” was issued by Interpol against Popcaan for a prior conviction in Barbados.
“The JCF can confirm that Andre Sutherland was convicted in 2009 in Barbados for possession of marijuana, and subsequently deported to Jamaica. He was again arrested in Barbados in 2011 for possession of cocaine. Arising from those arrests and other intelligence gathered, a Green Notice was generated by Interpol about him in 2015. The notice was then reconfirmed by Interpol in 2018.”
It seems that the response by the JCF is the email in question that the artist is suing over.
“A Green Notice provides Interpol members with a warning about a traveller’s potential criminal activities, where the person may be considered a threat to public safety,” the JCF was quoted as saying to media houses.
Bert Samuels also represents one of Vybz Kartel’s co-defendants in their appeal case now before the UK Privy Council.