The woes continue for Tommy Lee Sparta behind bars as his incarceration has been extended again, this time it was because his tribunal hearing was delayed. The tribunal sitting will now be heard during the course of three hearing dates which have all been set for next week.
Sparta, whose real name is Leroy Russell, has his hearings set for August 10, 13, and 14. The decision was made yesterday August 4 and the tribunal was held via Zoom conferencing at the Freeport Police Station in Montego Bay.
According to the Jamaica Gleaner during the proceedings yesterday, Tommy Lee’s attorney Ernest Smith sought legal deliberations with government representatives. Both teams will meet to debate whether or not Sparta should be released from jail.
Two other attorneys have cautioned that Sparta may have a case against the state if he continues to remain locked up. His lawyer has already said that he intends to file a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the state.
Sparta has been seemingly hounded by law enforcement officials who believe he is connected to gang activity. He was listed as a person of interest by the police in the Kingston Eastern Division in 2016 in relation to a shooting incident. Again in 2017, the Freeport Police Station asked the deejay to turn himself in for questioning in relation to a shooting in Flankers during Christmas time.
The president of the Cornwall Bar Association, Attorney-at-law Lambert Johnson also spoke with the Gleaner about the case.
“If approximately every year the police pick you up, have you in custody, and declare you a person of interest, and then you are released and not charged, after a while it begins to feel like victimisation. After a while, it will seem like you are being targeted,” said Johnson.
Another attorney who spoke with the Gleaner, senior attorney Don Foote, added:
“Mr Tommy Lee can always sue for false imprisonment. That is how the law works, because one is presumed innocent until proven guilty, but you [the police] just take innocent persons into custody, lock them up, and then release them,” said Foote.
Last week, as police continued to grill Sparta it was revealed that he was escorted to the Corporate Area, where searches were conducted at several apartments. The police also announced that ten men who they say are affiliated with the St James-based Downtown Sparta Gang were arrested.