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Golding pushes for video evidence in Jamaican courts

Published:Monday | March 26, 2012 | 12:00 AM

MINISTER of Justice Senator Mark Golding said the Government is working on legislation which would enable evidence to be given via video link in the country's courts.

"There has always been the problem where persons are afraid to speak out and are silent," the minister said yesterday.

The minister was speaking at a church service held yesterday at St Andrew's Scots Kirk United Church for the 70th anniversary service of Dunncox.

"We are seeking to make amendments to the Evidence Act where evidence can be recorded through video recordings and where persons can give evidence at a remote locations without being in the courtroom, so as to protect the vulnerable and this will be introduced shortly," he said.

"It's no panacea but we are still in the fight of reducing the level of injustice in our society," Golding said.

In the meantime, the Reverend Ralph Hoyte, in his message, said there continues to be an outcry in the country and the level of injustice and killings is cause for concern.

Jamaica in a crisis

"In our city, we find that many are victimised and are too intimidated to talk and are pushed into silence," he said.

"I couldn't help but join in the moaning; so much has been happening. Just last week, I had to be comforting a staff member who had a member of his family being cut down by the gun. We read in The Gleaner just last Thursday where a mother told the tale and expressed great grief after her daughter was killed by the police," the pastor said.

"We are in a crisis," he lamented.

"I am not a prophet of gloom and doom but we have to face the reality and so my message to you is that we should not be a city of apathy but agape. We should not be a city of inequality but integrity; we should not be a city of callousness but compassion," he declared.