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Probe into Armadalere port leak

Published:Monday | February 22, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Mark Beckford, Staff Reporter

An investigation has been launched into the leak of the Armadale Enquiry Report more than a week before it was scheduled to be tabled before the Cabinet, Minister of National Security Dwight Nelson has revealed.

Excerpts of the report, which surfaced in the media on the weekend, indicate that Commissioner of Corrections June Spence-Jarrett was heavily criticised.

Permanent secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Major Richard Reese, has also declined to comment on the fate of Spence-Jarrett.

When contacted yesterday, Reese told
The Gleaner
that in issues when disciplinary and criminal matters arise, it would not be "prudent" to release a statement without discussing it with all the stakeholders.

He also pointed to the fact that the report, which will be sent to Cabinet on March 1, had to be tabled in the House on March 5, as well as sent to the director of public prosecutions, the commissioner of police and the Office of the Public Defender.


Public Defender Earl Witter told
The Gleaner
that his office has been carrying out its own investigations and was awaiting the report findings to give its own conclusions.

He, however, said the office would be seeking redress on behalf of the parents of the girls who died.

"We have firm instructions from the parents and guardians of all the deceased, and a great many of all those who were injured at Armadale, to seek appropriate redress on their behalf, and we shall, of course," he said.

The enquiry was set up last May by Prime Minister Bruce Golding to uncover the circumstances which led to the tragic deaths of seven adolescents, five of whom perished in a fire at the Armadale Correctional Facility in St Ann on May 22, 2009. Two of the girls later succumbed to their injuries.