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Potential conflict in Security Ministry probe over witness protection in politician's case

Published:Monday | August 22, 2016 | 8:23 PM
Montague ... had asked his permanent secretary Dianne McIntosh to investigate the ministry's actions.

Damion Mitchell, Editor - Radio & Online

The National Security Minister Robert Montague could be forced to adjust how his ministry will review the government's handling of a major police investigation targeting a Jamaican politician in order to avoid a potential conflict of interest.

Montague had asked his permanent secretary Dianne McIntosh to investigate the ministry's actions after the Miami Herald quoted the former Assistant Commissioner of Police Les Green as saying the case against the politician collapsed because the Ministry refused to provide security for two key witnesses in the matter.

However, Gleaner sources have revealed that McIntosh was in fact the permanent secretary in late 2011 when the decision was made to refuse protection for the witnesses.

IN PHOTO: National Security Ministry Permanent Secretary Dianne McIntosh

This morning, Montague could not be reached for a comment as he was said to be in a Cabinet meeting.

McIntosh only recently returned to the National Security Ministry after her reassignment to the Finance Ministry in August 2012.

Former National Security Minister Peter Bunting has called for an independent external review of the conduct of the ministry and the political directorate at the time.

READ: Bunting said he tried to rescue investigation of official

Bunting has also revealed that shortly after he took office in January 2012, he tried to salvage the police investigation that targeted the politician.

Bunting said when he took charge of the ministry and learnt of the situation, he gave ACP Green the commitment that his contract would be renewed and protection would be offered to the witnesses.

But according to Bunting, by that time, the witnesses had already been made scared.

Despite Green being given a new contract, Bunting said six months later, the frustrated British cop decided he could no longer continue.

Green has confirmed being offered another contract but said by then the damage had already been done.