Mon | Apr 23, 2018

Deeply disappointing... JLP group reacts to Witter's regret in recommending acting Public Defender

Published:Monday | December 29, 2014 | 3:14 PM
Mukulu... The public has had justifiable reasons not to have been totally pleased with the service that we have rendered - ON THE RECORD, May 7, 2014.

Young Jamaica, the youth arm of the Jamaica Labour Party, is describing as unfortunate and deeply disappointing recent comments by former Public Defender, Earl Witter about the acting public defender.

The former Public Defender reportedly wrote to the Governor General and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on December 1, apologizing for his recommendation for Matondo Mukulu to act in the position on Witter's retirement earlier this year.

In that letter, Witter reportedly said Mukulu was too young and inexperienced for the post.

Witter also alleged that Mukulu had been waging an ‘unbecoming campaign’ to be appointed to the post.

However, Young Jamaica is questioning the motives behind Witter’s letter.

According to the JLP’s youth arm, it is worth questioning whether envy of Mukulu’s achievements as Acting Public Defender played a part in the move by the former Public Defender.

WATCH: Acting Public Defender affirms, admits apologises

The group says it sees no suitable justification for denying Mukulu appointment to the office.

Last week news came that former Jamaican Bar Association President, Arlene Harrison Henry was to be appointed as the new Public Defender.

The JLP group it is concerned that age and youthfulness are being used as a determining factor in appointments.

Young Jamaica says the development is tantamount to a determination of qualification based on race, gender or socio- economic status.

According to the group, once a candidate is qualified under the Act, age should not be used to retard their progress.

The JLP youth arm says Witter’s "interference" in the process to select the Public Defender is irregular and highly unusual.

It also said the process could have been compromised by Witter’s letter.

In the meantime, Young Jamaica has placed on record its gratitude for the work done by the Mukulu in raising the profile of the Office of the Public Defender, while broadening the scope of the office.

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