Prosecution staying out of INDECOM/Public Defender face-off
Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer
The Prosecution is staying out of the developing verbal tussle between the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) and Public Defender, Earl Witter over the Keith Clarke case.
Witter used his Interim Report on the May 2010 Tivoli Operation to accuse INDECOM of going off on its own investigation without the necessary oversight and questioned if the departure from agreed ballistics protocol was excusable.
Witter also questioned if the carrying out of ballistics tests even while the matter is before the courts, could impact the pending trial or the integrity of the Prosecution’s case.
However, Director of Public Prosecutions, Paula Llewellyn, says given that her office initiated the prosecution of the matter after considering a file from INDECOM, it would be inappropriate for her to make any comment.
INDECOM had responded strongly to the assertions of the Public Defender arguing that it was not advised of a ballistics road map.
INDECOM also said the two year delay in completing the investigation into the killing of Clarke was unacceptable and further delays to await the Public Defender’s report and the possibility of a Commission of Enquiry would have been inexcusable.
Claims of bias were also dismissed by INDECOM after the public defender questioned the involvement of a former member of the Jamaica Defence Force in the investigations.
Witter suggested that the trial abide the outcome of a Commission of Enquiry to be established into the Tivoli Operation.
Three soldiers are before the courts on murder charges in relation to Clarke’s death on May 27, 2010 at his St Andrew home during a joint military/police operation reportedly in search of former crime-lord, Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke.
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