Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Prisoner transfer clause removed from DNA law

Published:Friday | December 11, 2015 | 12:05 PMJerome Reynolds, Staff Reporter
Opposition Senator, Marlene Malahoo Forte, had questioned whether the inclusion of the clause was an attempt by the government to use the back door to give life to a proposed prisoner deal with the United Kingdom.

The Government has removed a controversial clause in the proposed DNA law which speaks to a prisoner transfer arrangement and the taking of samples from persons transferred to Jamaica to complete their sentences.

The clause caused a delay in the bill after senators raised objection yesterday.

Opposition Senator, Marlene Malahoo Forte, had questioned whether the inclusion of the clause was an attempt by the government to use the back door to give life to a proposed prisoner deal with the United Kingdom.

This morning, Justice Minister Mark Golding, told the Senate that the touchy provision was taken from an Irish DNA law and that it makes reference to arrangements which do not currently exit in Jamaica.

He said it is not intended to use the DNA law to introduce prisoner transfer legislation and as result the clause was being removed from the bill.

 

Justice Minister Senator Mark Golding

He advised that substantial legislation to deal with prisoner transfers is not yet  prepared for tabling in Parliament.

Senator Malahoo Forte questioned how the government allowed the prisoner transfer clause to be included in the DNA law.

However, the Justice Minister did not provide a response.

 

Justice Minister Senator Mark Golding and before him opposition senator Marlene Malahoo Forte

The bill was eventually passed with 25 amendments.

The DNA bill was previous passed by the House of Representatives.