MONTEGO BAY — Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, has invited commentary from regional prosecutors now meeting in Montego Bay, on Jamaica's planned move to establish a special prosecutor’s office, through a Bill now before Parliament.
The special prosecutor will be empowered under the provisions of the law to investigate and prosecute corrupt high-level public and private officials.
“We are introducing that office because we feel there is a need to create a special focus on corruption,” Prime Minister Golding explained in his address at the Commonwealth Caribbean Prosecutors conference dinner held on Saturday evening (April 30), at the Half Moon Hotel’s Cinnamon Hill Restaurant.
He said that in drafting the bill, "we have had to tread carefully", and we have insisted and ensured, subject to and in accordance with the requirements of the Constitution that, that special prosecutor is subject to the direction of the Director of Public Prosecution, who can overrule, who can take over, who can discontinue, and (also) deal with corruption as an issue that has to be aggressively pursued”,
Some 14 Commonwealth Caribbean countries represented by their directors and deputy directors of public prosecution and senior crown counsels met in Montego Bay from April 29 to May 1 for discussions aimed at, among other things, the establishment of a Caribbean Association of Prosecutors, in line with the International Association of Prosecutors (IAP).
Prime Minister Golding urged that the regional association, once established, should seek to become an associate institution of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
He said that there is the provision within the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas for the recognition of an associate institution, which leaves that body with its independence from CARICOM institutional arrangements.
By BRYAN MILLER, JIS REGIONAL OFFICE