The Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) are admitting they got it wrong in a case against a policeman accused of murder.
The case against Detective Constable Shawn Pennington was dismissed last week by the presiding judge in the St. Catherine Parish Court. Now, Commissioner of INDECOM, Terrence Williams says the Commission has launched an investigation into the bungling.
The policeman was arrested and charged in February for the murder of a 28-year-old man, Rishawn Oliver. He’s since been re-arrested and charged by the Bureau of Special Investigations, BSI, on the instruction of the Director of Public Prosecutions, DPP, Paula Llewellyn.
In a media conference today, Mr. Williams, accepted that his agency dropped the ball. There are conflicting reasons being put forward as to why Detective Constable Pennington was allowed to walk free last week.
The Detective Constable’s attorney, Christopher Townsend, says his client was freed because the Court of Appeal ruled that INDECOM doesn’t have the power to arrest, charge or prosecute, members of the police force under the INDECOM Act. But, DPP Llewellyn says that’s not the main reason. She says the case was dismissed because the file placed before the court was incomplete.
Speaking with the media today, INDECOM’s Commissioner, Terrence Williams, admitted that the file the Commission sent to the court was incomplete. But, he says the case was dismissed because of the ruling handed down by the Appeals’ Court.
Commissioner Williams also says INDECOM has started an internal investigation into the gaffe.
Commissioner Williams says upon the completion of the investigation an internal adjudication will take place. He says this will be led by a retired high court judge.
Meanwhile, INDECOM says it’s concerned that firearms are still being planted at the scenes of fatal shootings by members of the police force.
Assistant Commissioner of INDECOM, Hamish Campbell, says the Commission found that a weapon was planted at a scene earlier this year.
Assistant Commissioner Campbell says unregistered weapons are also being found in the possession of members of the Constabulary.