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JFJ takes case against Hewitt to Privy Council

Published:Tuesday | June 23, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Rights group Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) is taking its case against the promotion of a policeman by the Police Service Commission (PSC) in 2011 to the United Kingdom-based Privy Council.

The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is Jamaica's final appellate court.

The Jamaican Court of Appeal last week granted the human rights group permission to take its case to London following a hearing.

For three years, JFJ has been contesting the decision of the PSC to promote the now-retired Delroy Hewitt from superintendent to senior superintendent of police.

Both the Supreme Court and the local Court of Appeal have rejected arguments by JFJ that the PSC should have conducted investigations into allegations of human-rights abuses involving the former policeman.

JFJ wants the Privy Council to determine whether the Jamaican Appeals Court erred in holding that the PSC was not required, by Constitution or common law, to obtain or conduct an independent investigation into the allegations.

Clarify the PSC powers and duties

JFJ also wants the Privy Council to clarify the powers and duties of the PSC regarding the appointment of police officers in cases where the candidates for promotion have been accused of serious misconduct or constitutional breaches.

The rights group also wants the Privy Council to determine whether the PSC should conduct its own investigation or utilise the services of entities independent of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

JFJ maintains that if an investigation had been done into the reported 28 allegations of fatal shootings involving Hewitt, he would not have been promoted.

At the time when JFJ said it received the reports, Hewitt was head of the Kingston Western police.