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Decision by police groups to appeal INDECOM ruling ill-advised, says Opposition

Published:Wednesday | August 7, 2013 | 9:47 AM

Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer

The Opposition has described as ill-advised and a waste of time, the decision of five police groups to appeal a court ruling affirming the powers of the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM), to arrest and charge members of the security forces.

The Constitutional Court ruled last Tuesday that INDECOM has the power under common law as well as its governing act, to arrest members of the security forces.

It also ruled that the powers of the INDECOM Commissioner and his investigators in no way dilute the authority of the Director of Public Prosecutions to continue, takeover or discontinue any prosecution.

Since the ruling, several of the police groups which initiated the court action leading to the ruling have announced that they will take the judgment to the Court of Appeal.

However, opposition spokesperson on National Security, Delroy Chuck, says the Court’s decision reaffirmed the intent of Parliament to empower INDECOM to charge and prosecute members of the security forces.

Chuck says the parliamentary committee currently reviewing the INDECOM Act should move to clarify aspects of the legislation in accordance with the court ruling.

Chairman of the Jamaica Police Federation, Sergeant Raymond Wilson, has said the police groups believe the decision of the Constitutional Court has serious operational and constitutional implications and must be challenged at the highest level.

The police groups have received support from Attorney-at-Law, Bert Samuels who says the Court ruling deserves to be brought to the highest level because of its far-reaching and fundamental nature.

The police High Command is to meet with the INDECOM to work out operational protocols to ensure compliance with the law.


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