INDECOM ruling to come before end of month
Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter
The Joint Select committee of Parliament, which has been set up to review the act establishing the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM), is hoping the Constitutional Court will deliver its judgment on whether the commission has the power to prosecute its cases.
Justice Minister Mark Golding, who is chairing the parliamentary committee, said yesterday that he had been told that the ruling would be made before the end of the month.
The court hearing ended last February.
The minister said it was his view that INDECOM must have the power to prosecute cases.
Committee member Delroy Chuck believes the objective under the act is not being met because of the inability of INDECOM to prosecute its own cases.
According to the Opposition MP and former justice minister, INDECOM is no different from its predecessor agency, the Bureau of Special Investigations and the Police Public Complaints Authority.
He explained that INDECOM was not set up to send files to the Director of Public Prosecutions for a ruling, but to prosecute where the commissioner believes there is a strong case.
Committee member Senator Arthur Williams noted that DPP Paula Llewellyn had been consistent in saying she had the constitutional power to stop any prosecution and he expressed doubt that the ruling to which Golding referred could change that position.
Senator Tom Tavares-Finson said the committee has a duty to revisit the matter of whether INDECOM should be given the power to prosecute.
He noted, that it would mean reopening a debate the DPP considered closed.
INDECOM was established by Parliament in 2010 to investigate allegations of misconduct by members of the security forces.
The act requires that a review be done within three years of it being brought into existence.
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