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DPP could face Parliament over 'Kentucky Kid' case

Published:Thursday | November 6, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer

The nation's chief prosecutor Paula Llewellyn could be called before the Parliament to explain her office's handling of the controversial 'Kentucky Kid' murder case.

More than a week after the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) fired off a scathing report to Parliament about the way Llewellyn's office handled the case, Leader of Government Business in the House of Representatives Phillip Paulwell has revealed that the issue is "likely" to be put before a special committee.

Paulwell's disclosure came on the same day Llewellyn, who is also the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), issued a 31-page rebuttal to the INDECOM report, which she said would be copied to the Parliament, the Jamaican Bar Association, the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica and other stakeholder groups.

INDECOM needs oversight

In her rebuttal, she argued that the INDECOM report contained serious misstatements and misconceptions of law and policy, and suggested that the oversight body itself be subjected to scrutiny.

"It is our view that the interest of justice would be best served if, like the Jamaica Constabulary Force, INDECOM has a direct oversight body of persons who can offer an avenue of complaints by aggrieved parties where they may have been the victim of what they perceive to be an abuse of office or authority by INDECOM and its officers," the DPP recommended.

Paulwell told The Gleaner that a special parliamentary committee could be tasked with holding deliberations on the 'Kentucky Kid' case and said both the DPP's office and INDECOM would be "called in for discussions,"

Comprehensive review

He said during its weekly meeting on Monday, Cabinet noted the INDECOM report and "expressed the view that we [Parliament] should "follow up on it swiftly" with a clear understanding of its findings and recommendations and "to see how we could, in any way meaningful and practical, intervene to enable smoother operations" of both bodies.

"We will be following up with a comprehensive review of the report and recommendations as to how we proceed, but I don't want to pre-empt the work that has to be done," Paulwell insisted.

Kentucky Kid, whose real name is Robert Hill, was an aspiring entertainer who complained of constant police harassment and even circulated what he said was a video recording of a beating he got from members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force. The police subsequently killed him in December 2009, near his Ivy Green Mews home in St Andrew in what was reported to be a shootout.