DPP blasts Les Green
Jamaica's chief prosecutor, Paula Llewellyn, has charged that former Assistant Commissioner of Police Les Green was "less than fulsome" when he told an American newspaper that her office issued a ruling in 2004 that the Jamaican police had sufficient evidence to lay criminal charges against a local official.
Llewellyn was the only Jamaican official to respond to Green's assertion up to late yesterday, three days after it was included in an article published by the Miami Herald newspaper about the handling of a murder investigation that targeted the official.
"I have no comment," said Deputy Commissioner Glenmore Hinds, who has responsibility for the crime portfolio, when The Gleaner requested an update on the probe involving the official.
It was the same response from Assistant Commissioner Ealan Powell, head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force's Criminal Investigations Branch.
In the Miami Herald article, Green revealed that he investigated accusations that the Jamaican tried to arrange at least two murders. The former Scotland Yard detective also indicated that
he found enough evidence to recommend that prosecutors lay criminal charges against him.
"The [director] of public prosecutions (DPP) made a ruling that there was sufficient evidence to charge [the official]," he was quoted as saying in the article.
NO PROTECTION FOR KEY WITNESS
However, Green said after carefully assembling his case, the Ministry of National Security refused to provide protection for a key witnesses in the case who later fled the island, causing the case to collapse.
But in a four-page statement yesterday, Llewellyn acknowledged that her office sent a document to Green in June 2011 in his capacity as lead investigator, but said it was a legal opinion and recommendations that they were based on an assessment of the relevant materials provided by the police.
She said as part of the recommendations, her office informed the police that the two civilian witnesses they were relying on were persons "with an interest to serve" and, as a result, investigators should seek to obtain independent "corroborative material".
Notwithstanding, Llewellyn said her office made it clear to Green and his investigators that the JCF Act and the Jamaican Constitution empowered the police to lay criminal charges without reference to her office. "Only Mr Green, the chief investigator in this matter, can explain why he did not proceed to arrest and charge the target of this investigation if he was convinced that he had sufficient material to do so rather than send this file to the ODPP," she underscored.
"It is unfortunate that Mr Green, in his recounting to the Miami Herald, may have suffered from a lapse in memory here or there, causing him to be less than fulsome," Llewellyn charged.
She said in December 2011, her office received additional information from the police, but indicated that the new information presented a number of challenges for prosecutors.
"My team and I convened a meeting with Mr Green and his investigators to discuss and review the material that was available with a view to resolve issues surrounding the cogency of the material and the nexus to the target of the investigations," she revealed.
Llewellyn said she appointed a deputy director of public prosecutions to continue liaising with the police about the probe and related matters "if the need arose".
She said while the "companion" matters have been completed in the court, her office has not received any additional material related to the probe "for our consideration".
"Only the police can inform on the status of the investigation and whether it is still ongoing or has been closed," Llewellyn said.