Sat | Dec 3, 2016

KD lashes Paula

Published:Saturday | January 24, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer

THE NATION'S chief prosecutor, Paula Llewellyn, came under fire yesterday from Senator K.D. Knight for comments she made last year that have been perceived as being critical of lawmakers who are members of the legal profession.

Llewellyn, who was speaking at an anti-money laundering conference in Kingston last December, described the country's Evidence Act as archaic, and complained that efforts to have it amended were facing challenges in the Parliament.

"It is not having an easy passage in Parliament because clearly, on both sides of the House - in the Upper and Lower - you have the worthy members of [the] defence Bar," the director of public prosecutions (DPP) said then.

However, speaking in the Senate yesterday, before lawmakers voted to suspend the debate on a bill that seeks to amend the Evidence Act, Knight, who is also a veteran criminal defence attorney, blasted Llewellyn.

"I think it is wrong. I don't think the director of public prosecutions has any right to be chastising parliamentarians for taking a position on a particular piece of legislation," Knight said, to applause from his colleagues.

"There is much that we could chastise her about, but I don't think that it would be right for us to be in Parliament chastising her," he added.

Llewellyn, in her response to the former justice minister, offered a sarcastic apology.

"I am sorry. I am a mere prosecutor. If policymakers say antiquated laws, which are out of step with the 21st century and international best practises, should stay on the books, then it's their call to make," Llewellyn told The Gleaner late yesterday.

livern.barrett@gleanerjm.com