Sun | Jun 13, 2021

No explanation for Kern Spencer being freed of corruption charges, says DPP

Published:Tuesday | April 1, 2014 | 5:52 PM

Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Paula Llewellyn says the Crown is in a dilemma because it is unable to explain why former junior energy minister Kern Spencer was freed of corruption charges.

She says this is because the presiding magistrate gave no reasons when she upheld no-case submissions from defence attorneys.

Last week Monday, Senior Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey upheld a no case submission freeing Spencer and his former personal assistant Colleen Wright of corruption and money laundering charges.

However, the DPP, Paula Llewellyn says she still does not know the basis on which RM Pusey ruled that Spencer had no case to answer.

The DPP says she acknowledges that a Judge or Magistrate is not generally obliged to give reasons for any ruling in law.

However, Llewellyn says there are instances in which judges uphold no case submissions and as a matter of courtesy or gesture to transparency the judge gives a brief rationale for the decision.

She argues that it is critical for a reason to be given, especially when a case has been lengthy, involves complex issues of fact and law and is of high public interest.

The DPP says the action of the magistrate has the potential to cast doubt in the minds of Jamaicans about whether justice was truly done.

Meanwhile, the DPP has rejected comments in the public domain that she is questioning the competence of the magistrate.

Llewellyn says it would be unprofessional to discuss the competence of any judge, magistrate, defence attorney or colleague prosecutor in the public domain.

The DPP says she is well aware of the protocols relating to the relationships of the different stakeholders within the justice system.


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