JIS News

Cabinet has given the go-ahead for legislation to be drafted for the creation of the Office of Special Prosecutor, to investigate high-level acts of corruption in the public and private sector.
Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, Senator Dorothy Lightbourne, who made the disclosure at the weekly post-Cabinet press briefing on (Nov. 27) at Jamaica House, said that the Special Prosecutor’s office will subsume the current Corruption Prevention Commission.
“That Commission mainly deals with public officers.and has really concentrated on public bodies. This new body will be a wider body; it will look at corruption right across, not only public but private as well, right across the board,” she explained.
The Prosecutor will work closely with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). “Prosecution really remains the purview of the DPP; he has powers to go in and take over prosecutions and/or to stop. This person will have to work in close conjunction with the DPP but this Special Prosecutor will have his own office and his own staff,” she informed.
Senator Lightbourne noted that while the Special Prosecutor will have the power to investigate and prosecute persons, who are found guilty of engaging in corrupt practices, he/she will not be involved in the seizure of assets.
“It is agreed that the DPP will give this body a general fiat to prosecute but always, at the end of the day (the DPP will) have oversight as to whether the prosecution should go forward or not,” she informed.
The Special Prosecutor, who will be appointed by the Governor-Governor, will be an attorney-at-law by profession, with experience as a high court judge or a Senior Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions. The appointee will be required to submit quarterly reports to Parliament.

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