Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewellyn says there is no discord in her office over the bribery case involving three high-profile Jamaicans.
Llewellyn's assertion came hours after she went to the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court yesterday to clear up the "confusion in the public domain" over whether Police Commissioner Owen Ellington was required to give a statement in the case.
On August 22, Dirk Harrison, a senior deputy DPP and the lead prosecutor in the case, told the court that "based on some intelligence we have, we need a statement from the commissioner".
But yesterday Llewellyn told Resident Magistrate Georgianna Fraser that Harrison's comments were not the official position of her office and later, in an interview with The Gleaner, sought to allay concerns about discord over the issue.
"We operate as a team and we have always operated as a team," Llewellyn said.
The DPP told the court that Ellington would not be required to give a statement, revealing that an examination of the statements collected by investigators show that any mention of him was "extremely brief".
"It would not be of any assistance to the prosecution to have a statement from the commissioner," she said.
Seeking to explain Harrison's statement to the court on August 22, the DPP told Fraser he was "merely relaying information gleaned from the investigators".
She later told The Gleaner her office gives due consideration to the opinion of police investigators, but made it clear "we reserve the right to exercise our independent assessment in order to mount a viable prosecution".
Llewellyn said this was her view from the outset when she first discussed the case with Harrison and another deputy, Lisa Palmer Hamilton.
However, she said she did not have a chance to discuss the case with Harrison before he went to court.
Businessman Bruce Bicknell, who is already facing a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice, was also charged yesterday with bribery.
Parliamententarian Daryl Vaz has been charged with breaches of the Corruption Prevention Act, while Senior Superintendent of Police James Forbes has been charged with attempting to pervert the court of justice.
They are scheduled to return to court on October 3.