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Attorney Isat Buchanan found guilty of professional misconduct by GLC Loop Jamaica

Attorney-at-law Isat Buchanan was found guilty of professional misconduct by the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council (GLC) on Saturday.

Buchanan, who is representing incarcerated entertainer, Adidja Palmer, better known as Vybz Kartel, was hauled before the GLC at the urging of Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Paula Llewellyn, after he accused her office of seeking to frustrate the defence’s bid to gain access to the entertainer’s phone which had been seized as evidence in the artiste’s murder trial.

In addition to being an attorney, Buchanan is a human rights advocate and Chairman of the People’s National Party’s (PNP’s) Human Rights Commission.

The GLC has scheduled a sanction hearing in the matter for October 22.

On that date, the defence attorney is to know what penalty he will face for professional misconduct.

Kartel’s legal team believes his phone has evidence of tampering, and was at the time, seeking permission from the Court of Appeal to take the case overseas to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London, the final appellate court for Jamaica.

Buchanan, in an interview in November 2020, voiced concerns that the ODPP was acting as “authors of further delay”, and accused the office of being “…very deliberate in their action to continue to violate the constitutional rights of Adidja Palmer.”

However, in a six-page response to an article, Llewellyn dismissed Buchanan’s allegations against the office as being “reckless, dangerous and a possible violation of the Canons of the Legal Profession (Canons of Professional Ethics) Rules,” and indicated that the office would be reporting Buchanan to the GLC.

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Llewellyn honoured her word by reporting Buchanan to the GLC, which handed down its decision during a virtual hearing on Saturday.

The panel determined that Buchanan had breached Canon 1b of the Legal Profession (Canons of Professional Ethics) Rules.

That section states that an attorney shall at all times maintain the honour and dignity of the profession, and shall abstain from behaviour which may tend to discredit the profession of which he (or she) is a member.

Attorney John Clarke represented Buchanan at the hearing, while Llewellyn was represented by King’s Counsel Andre Earle.