Sat | Nov 27, 2021

Police hit roadblock in Floyd Green no-movement day party probe

Published:Monday | September 27, 2021 | 4:57 PM
In this screengrab, Councillor Andrew Bellamy and resigned Agriculture Minister Floyd Green are captured in a festive mood at the party.

The police have gone to court to obtain an order to compel the R Hotel in St Andrew to hand over camera footage relating to the no-movement-day birthday party which resigned agriculture minister Floyd Green attended earlier this month.

The hotel management has reportedly said it is seeking legal advice on the matter.  

However, there are indications that the police may not be able to prosecute Green, who, as a minister of government was in a specific category of persons exempted from the no-movement orders.

According to Fitz Bailey, the deputy commissioner of police in charge of the crime and security portfolio, the August 11, 2021 amendment to the order under the Disaster Risk Management Act removes the requirement for exempted people to only move on lockdown days in the course of their duties.

 "There's a carte blanche ability to move by these individuals including ministers of government," said Bailey.

He was speaking today on Radio Jamaica's Hotline.

"If the man wants to go and play football, that's what the amendment to the Act says," Bailey added.

Councillor for the Mona Division in St Andrew Bellamy, and Gabrielle Hylton, who sat on several state boards were also at the party.

Bellamy has since resigned from the board of the South Eastern Regional Health Authority and the committees he chaired in the Kingston and St Andrew.

Hylton, who was an adviser to Green has stepped down from the boards of the Cannabis Licensing Authority, the Rural Agricultural Development Authority and the Jamaica 4-H Clubs.

There have been claims that the police were exhibiting double standards in relation to recent breaches of the Act and the prosecution for the birthday party.

But Bailey maintained that the police were pursuing all the investigative requirements in law, insisting that they have remained professional throughout.

What the DRMA says:

Persons permitted to leave their abode or place of residence during the specified hours during the relevant periods:  

The holder of an office, OR for the purposes of the employment, service,  activity or authorisation, or duties (as the case may be) described below:

1. The holder of any of the  following  offices:
(a) the office of Governor-General; 
(b) office  as  a member of either  House of Parliament; 
(c) office  as  a  member of the Judiciary.

Follow The Gleaner on Twitter and Instagram @JamaicaGleaner and on Facebook @GleanerJamaica. Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169 or email us at onlinefeedback@gleanerjm.com or editors@gleanerjm.com