INDECOM criticised for procedural gaffe
Resident Magistrate Ann-Marie Nembhard yesterday chided the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) for failing to follow proper procedure when it brought a policeman before the Spanish Town Resident Magistrate?s Court for an alleged offence which was committed in another parish.
Inspector Fitzroy Rhoden was ordered by INDECOM to report to the Spanish Town police station where he was charged with assault and later taken to court.
When the matter was called up, the court was informed that the alleged offence was committed in St Ann. The policeman, who is being represented by attorney-at-law Valerie Neita Robertson, is accused of assaulting a prisoner.
Neita Robertson told The Gleaner yesterday that Nembhard voiced displeasure that the accused was not charged in the parish where the offence took place.
She said the magistrate stated that INDECOM cannot unilaterally change jurisdiction as it does not have that authority in law.
The attorney stated that Nembhard said the proper procedure was for INDECOM to take the accused man before a court in the parish where the alleged offence took place and make an application for a change of venue.
Robertson said the magistrate stated that INDECOM cannot manipulate the justice system and that it must abide by the law.
The magistrate later granted the police inspector $150,000 bail and ordered that the case be transferred to St Ann.
The case has been set for mention next Thursday.