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Prosecutors want law making wilful STI transmission a crime

Published:Wednesday | July 19, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Adley Duncan

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has recommended that the Parliament make it clear in law that knowingly transmitting a sexual infection is a crime.

Assistant DPP Adley Duncan says that the offence exists at common law but that there is no legislation explicitly stating that the act is illegal.

He made the recommendation yesterday during a parliamentary committee reviewing Jamaica's sex laws.

Duncan said that the position of the Office of the DPP stemmed from last year's case involving George Flowers, who was ordered extradited from Jamaica to Canada on allegations he knowingly transmitting HIV to four women in the North American country between 1996 and 2012.

Flowers reportedly fled to Jamaica in 2012, the same year Canadian police issued an arrest warrant, and later, an extradition request.

Duncan said that an issue developed following the request in 2013 as Flowers argued that the offence was in Canadian law but not in Jamaica's, and, therefore, by the rules, he could not be extradited.

The assistant DPP said that prosecutors successfully argued that the offence was at common law and the courts upheld the order.

He also noted that while Jamaica's marital rape law makes it illegal for knowingly or recklessly transmitting a sexual offence, a clear indication is needed to remove any doubt.