Thu | Sep 20, 2018

DPP says INDECOM needs oversight

Published:Wednesday | November 5, 2014 | 5:37 PM
DPP Paula Llewellyn (left)... INDECOM needs to be careful

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has suggested that a body be set up to provide oversight for the actions of the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM).

It's the latest utterance in a public squabble between the two offices.

The DPP made the recommendation in an extensive report which her office says it intends to have laid in the parliament in response to a special report by INDECOM to parliament on the 'Kentucky Kid' murder case.

In its report, INDECOM had claimed that the case was ineffectively prosecuted and that the DPP had enough evidence to continue the case against the three policemen and two civilians charged for the murder of Robert ‘Kentucky Kid’ Hill.

But in her extensive response, the DPP, Paula Llewellyn, maintained that it is fully within her discretion to decide which cases to continue with.

She said IDECOM's report to parliament constitutes a challenge to the time-honoured constitutional authority of the Office of the DPP.

The DPP also reiterated that the prosecution had no evidence to present before a jury.

Llewellyn says INDECOM’s methodology would see the accused being called as witnesses in their own trial in direct opposition to the principle that accused persons cannot incriminate themselves.

She says if her office had continued with the prosecution it could have exposed the state to allegations of malicious prosecution.

The DPP says based on the latest incidents her office is of the view that similar to the police force, there should be a direct oversight body to receive complaints from persons who feel they may have been victims of an abuse of power by INDECOM.

She says this is important as INDECOM, like the Jamaica Constabulary Force, has the ability to affect the liberty of a citizen.

The DPP charges that INDECOM’s special report on the case is a clear breach of the principle that an investigator does not express any view regarding the innocence or guilt of persons.

The DPP also says INDECOM needs to be careful that it does not show flagrant disregard for the remit of other stakeholders within the criminal justice system.

She says the need for public confidence in the DPP and INDECOM dictates that neither office publicly undermine each other.


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