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Special prosecutor feasibility report complete - Munroe

Published:Monday | October 8, 2012 | 12:00 AM

The special advisory group which was appointed to examine the viability of establishing the office of a special prosecutor to charge corrupt public officials has completed its report.

Professor Trevor Munroe, director of the National Integrity Action (NIA), made the disclosure during a Gleaner Editors' Forum at the newspaper's North Street offices last week.

Munroe said one of the recommendations of the advisory group is for the merger of the Office of the Contractor General with the Parliament Integrity Commission and the Corruption Prevention Commission.

"I certainly can say that the recommendation is to merge the three main bodies and to have a statutorily based prosecutorial function which will not take away from Section 94 of the Constitution or to change that Constitution which we have been trying for some 30-odd years. So the next best option is to ground a statutorily based prosecutorial function," Munroe said.

Section 94 of the Constitution addresses the issue of the establishment and functions of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The controversial special prosecutor bill which was introduced under the Jamaica Labour Party administration has come under harsh criticism in the past with questions being raised about it constitutionality.

The NIA director urged the Government to exercise urgency in bringing the report to Cabinet as well as to fast-track legislation on campaign financing .

Justice Minister Senator Mark Golding told The Gleaner last week that the report from the special advisory group is at the Cabinet office and that he was "hoping that it will be on the agenda for next week Monday (today)".