The Independent Commission of Investigations, INDECOM, says it’ll now be able to require telecommunications service providers to supply it with information, as it pursues criminal investigations.

This, in accordance to a ruling of the Court of Appeal in the matter involving it and telecoms service provider, Digicel.

In a statement today, INDECOM indicated that the ruling emanated from a September, 2011 case in which it was investigating the killing of a man by a police officer.

It says the main issue for determination in the appeal was whether the Commission may compel a telecommunications service provider to supply it with information which the Telecommunications Act and the Interception of Communications Act require the provider to keep secret and confidential.

INDECOM says Digicel objected, contending that it was not compellable.

But says it opposed that position.

However on June 30, 2013, in a Supreme Court decision, Justice Ingrid Mangatal ruled that the provider was not compellable.

INDECOM appealed that decision.

It says In the higher court, the appeal was allowed in part, setting aside aspects of the decision by Justice Mangatal.

INDECOM says the Appeal Court has declared that when it requires ‘disclosure for the purpose of the investigation or prosecution of a criminal offence’, key provisions of the Telecommunications Act would have been satisfied.

In that case, the telecommunications service provider must disclose the required information.

The provider would also have the protection of the Act, from a civil action or suit.