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Did INDECOM try to bypass DPP?

Published:Tuesday | July 1, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE COUNTRY'S top prosecutor last night admitted that she was caught off guard by some of the details in a report out of Canada yesterday about a Jamaican policeman linked to the so-called death squad operating in the Clarendon Division.

Quoting the Toronto Police Fugitive Squad, one Toronto radio station, Newstalk 1010, reported that the policeman, identified as Witney Hutchinson, was wanted by the Jamaican authorities for one murder.

The radio station said Hutchinson, who arrived in Canada legally two years ago to stay with relatives, was arrested at a home in the Ajax area last Friday and was being held pending his extradition to Jamaica.

Paula Llewellyn, the director of public prosecutions (DPP), revealed that the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) sought an extradition request for Hutchinson, but said it was not signed off on because a number of things were outstanding.

Expressed concerns

However, Llewellyn confirmed that INDECOM had informed her office that Hutchinson, along with two of his colleagues, Kevin Adams and Pete Samuels, was to be charged with murder in one of the four alleged death squad cases now before the courts.

"We expressed certain concerns to Mr [Terrence] Williams [Commissioner of INDECOM] and his team, so we have been awaiting the material to complete that file," Llewellyn told The Gleaner.

"So before we can properly assess whether the evidentiary material involving Mr Hutchinson is sufficient or has met the threshold required to sustain an extradition request, the material in the request would have to be completed by INDECOM and it has not yet been done," she explained.

When contacted, senior public relations officer at INDECOM, Kahmile Reid, said the oversight body would not make any comment on the investigations "or any related matter".