Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Police urged to consult DPP during investigation of cybercrimes cases

Published:Thursday | May 18, 2017 | 5:24 PM
Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn. – File Photo

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewellyn has urged the police to consult with her office when proceeding with investigations into allegations of malicious communications under Section 9 of the Cybercrimes Act.

The call follows the collapse yesterday of the case against co-founder of the advocacy group Tambourine Army, Latoya Nugent, in relation to breaches of the Act.

Nugent was facing three counts of using a computer for malicious communication for allegedly posting information on various social media websites that were allegedly menacing and caused annoyance to three clergymen.

Speaking after Nugent was freed yesterday the DPP noted that prosecutions under Section 9 require specific ingredients to be satisfied.

She said while Miss Nugent’s posts were offensive and prosecutors may have been able to prove that they were intentional they would be hard-pressed to prove the other elements of the offence as outlined in section 9 of the Cybercrimes Act.

Llewellyn says this is why her office recently circulated guidelines for the prosecution of such cases.

 

Director of Public Prosecutions, Paula Llewellyn

The Office of the DPP has noted that it cannot direct the police not to arrest and charge anyone.

It says it can only make recommendations to the police which they can accept or reject.

The Office says it is after the matter is placed before the Court that the DPP under the Constitution can take over or discontinue any matter if the interest of justice makes it necessary so to do.

However, the DPP says there are gaps in the law and her office will make its recommendations when the legislation comes up for review.