Director of Public Prosecutions, Paula Lewellyn, is defending her office’s role in the of the non-prosecution of a prominent Jamaican politician regarding allegations of murder and conspiracy to murder.
She says despite her recommendations on the matter, the police could have arrested and charged the politician.
The allegations were repeated in a Miami Herald newspaper article on Sunday. But in a statement today, the DPP refuted assertions that her office failed to do it’s job.
The Miami Herald allegations include conspiracy to murder, money laundering and drug trafficking by the prominent Jamaican politician.
It quotes former Assistant Commissioner of Police, Les Green, who claims he had enough evidence to link the politician to a conspiracy to commit two murders.
Green, a British national, returned to the UK after his contract was not renewed in 2012.
He told the Miami Herald that his case fell apart after Jamaica’s National Security Ministry refused to protect one of the key witnesses.
In a statement today, DPP Lewelyn, only commented on specific references about her office.
She says a file dated April one, 2011, was forwarded to her by the former ACP pertaining to the allegations by two civilians, who she refers to as Witness A and Witness B.
She says her recommendations were given to ACP Green on June 4 the same year.
She says the two witnesses would have fallen into the category of “witnesses with an interest to serve”, meaning they may have had their own agenda.
As a result, she says the police would need other evidence to corroborate their stories.
She says if this couldn’t be obtained, any defence counsel could mount significant challenges to the witnesses’ credibility.
The DPP says it was clear that for any successful prosecution, the standard of proof would need to be beyond a reasonable doubt.
Additionally, she says that it was made it clear to the then-ACP Green that her office respects and recognizes the JCF’s authority to charge and arrest, regardless of her recommendations.
She notes that in the Miami Herald story, Green says he had found enough evidence to recommend that prosecutors charge the politician.
The DPP says she finds that comment strange, since it was always up to him to arrest and charge any target of an investigation without recourse to the DPP.
She goes on to say that only Mr. Green can explain why he did not arrest and charge the politician if he was convinced that he had enough evidence to do so.
Later, in December of that year, the DPP says she received information that Witness A couldn’t be located to give evidence in another matter while under the Witness Protection Programme.
This resulted in the accused in that matter being discharged by the Court.
It was also reveled that Witness B, was reportedly outside the jurisdiction and his whereabouts were unknown.
The DPP says while known associates of the witness and additional information was identified, it only amounted to innuendo and hearsay and could not legally stand as corroboration.
She says in the absence of the witnesses, it would have been unethical for prosecutors to attempt to mount a case in circumstances where there were significant credibility issues.
She says to date, her office has not received any further material for consideration, but only the police can say what’s the status of the investigation.
The DPP is defending her office, saying they’ve always acted in the highest traditions of prosecutorial ethics.