Ellington confirms US applied Leahy Act after Tivoli operation
Former police commissioner Owen Ellington has confirmed that the United States Government applied the Leahy Amendment Act against Jamaica’s police arising from concerns about human rights abuses and extrajudicial killings.
Ellington made the admission during cross examination by attorney at law Jacqueline Samuels Brown, who is representing Reverend Al Miller.
Samuels Brown had asked Ellington about a June 17, 2013 letter he wrote to National security Minister Peter Bunting.
Reading from the letter the attorney said the former commissioner expressed concerns that the application of the Leahy Act by the US will have adverse implications for the Jamaican police.
She asked him to explain what were those adverse implications.
The former police commissioner responded saying the action results in, among other things, the withdrawal of funding and technical support.
Pressed for further details, Ellington declined to say.
The Leahy Amendment Act is a US human rights law that prohibits the US Department of State and Department of Defense from providing military assistance to foreign military units that violate human rights with impunity.
News of the action by the Americans followed the release of an interim report by the Office of the Public Defender.
The report referred to, among other things, extrajudicial killings and other human right abuses by the security forces during the May 2010 west Kingston operation.