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News Briefs

Published:Wednesday | February 24, 2021 | 12:24 AM

No more SOEs until appeal is heard - Chang

Unless there is an overwhelming upsurge in violent crime, the Jamaican Government will not seek another state of emergency (SOE) until its appeal is heard.

The revelation was made by Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang at a Gleaner Editors’ Forum on Tuesday.

“He [the judge] had made some comments, but we have to go to the Court of Appeal to get their call,” Chang said.

“We are confident we will be successful in dealing with it there. Of course, we may have to look at some of the regulations, which is a different issue.”

SOEs were a key plank in the Government’s crime-fighting strategies since 2018.

Last September, a Supreme Court judge ruled that the detention of five men under states of emergency was unconstitutional.

The men had been detained for extended periods in at least three parishes.

Justice Bertram Morrison had declared that the men’s constitutional rights and the Constitution itself had been violated by what was described as executive detention.

The Government subsequently filed an appeal.

According to Chang, it is the full court that ought to rule on the constitutionality of the SOE, especially at this stage.

Chang reiterated that if it was absolutely necessary, the Government would consider declaring another SOE.

Jamaica has recorded 218 murders since the start of 2021.

Cop, ex-colleague back in court on murder rap March 8

A member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and his ex-colleague who are both accused of the fatal shooting of a teenager during a police operation in Kingston nine years ago are to reappear in the Gun Court on March 8.

Joel Waite and ex-policeman Germaine Parchment are charged for the alleged murder of 17-year-old Chadwick Clarke.

When the matter was mentioned before Justice Lorna Shelly Williams on Tuesday, the Crown indicated that it was having challenges.

Both men’s bail was also extended.

According to the allegations, on June 28, 2011, the teenager was shot and killed by both men on Rodney Road in Kingston 13.

The policemen, however, had reported that the teenager was killed during a shoot-out and a Beretta semi-automatic pistol recovered from him.

Parchment, who resigned from the force six years ago and migrated to the United States of America, was arrested and charged in June 2019 after returning to the island.

In the meantime, defence attorney Peter Champagnie, QC, who is representing Parchment, said that if the prosecution is still having the same challenges, the defence will press for the matter to be dismissed.

Waite is being represented by attorney-at-law John Jacobs.

Quarantine order lifted at St James lock-up

Detainees at the Freeport Police Station lock-up who were placed in quarantine on Saturday, January 9, were given clearance on Sunday, February 21 after completing the period.

The St James police said that the quarantine order was lifted by the Ministry of Health & Wellness in an official letter to the division’s leadership dated Tuesday, February 23.

At the beginning of the order, the ministry had ordered a cessation of visits to the lock-up and advised that movement of prisoners to and from other institutions also cease.