One of Jamaica’s top dancehall deejays, Tommy Lee Sparta, is in a state of uncertainty as he awaits a Thursday, July 30, hearing where a tribunal will decide if he will be freed. Sparta has been detained at the Freeport Police Station in St James parish since July 7, under a State of Emergency (SOE) in that parish.
Under the SOE, the singer can be held for up to 90 days without charge.
The Rich Badness artiste was asked to turn himself in following allegations that he may be connected to the spike in crime and violence in the Flankers community in the St James parish.
Ernest Smith, Sparta’s attorney, while speaking with the Jamaica Observer in an interview, stated that his client faced several rounds of interrogation, and was told he should be set free.
“I expect the tribunal to be very deliberate in its deliberation because he was questioned, as they said they wanted him for questioning. He was questioned five times, and the deputy superintendent said: ‘We have no further interest in him and he should be released’; and that was last Friday,” Smith shared.
The lawyer said that he filed a habeas corpus on behalf of his client, which is a procedure that asks a court to determine whether or not the detention of an individual is lawful.
Sparta, whose real name is Leroy Russell, is best known for songs like Blessings, Under Vibes, Hard Ears, and Spartan Solider.