US rapper Meek Mill gets new trial after 11 years

US rapper Meek Mill gets new trial after 11 years
Meek Mill said the last 11 years had been "mentally and emotionally challenging"

US rapper Meek Mill has been granted a new trial on drugs and weapons charges that date back to his teenage years after a long legal battle.

Three judges in Pennsylvania ruled there were credibility issues with his original trial in 2008.

The rapper, who was jailed in 2017 for a minor probation violation, now campaigns for criminal justice reform.

He has been supported by celebrities and campaigners who say the system treats minorities more harshly.

Jay-Z, and the owners of the New England Patriots and Philadelphia 76ers, Robert Kraft and Michael Rubin, have joined Meek Mill in creating the Reform Alliance to help people who are “trapped in the system”.

Meek Mill, whose given name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, said that the past 11 years had been “mentally and emotionally challenging” but that he was “ecstatic that justice prevailed”.

What is the case about?

The Pennsylvania Superior Court panel ruled on Wednesday that Meek Mill had the “right to be tried before an impartial judge… because the trial judge heard highly prejudicial testimony at the first trial.”

The sole witness in the first trial was a now-discredited drug squad officer who is no longer with the Philadelphia force.

He was sentenced in 2009 to between 11 and 23 months in county prison but was released on parole after five months and given 10-years probation.

Wednesday’s decision by the court means prosecutors now have to decide whether to hold a new trial or drop the case.


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