Following checks by Nationwide News – the Police have confirmed that the Member of Parliament for North Central St. Catherine, the PNP’s, Natalie Neita formerly Neita Headley has been arrested and charged.
Neita is facing assault charges. She’s currently the Opposition Spokesman on Sports and a former Cabinet Minister.
Commanding Officer for the St. Andrew South Police, Senior Superintendent Carl Ferguson, this morning indicated that Neita had been arrested and charged.
Nationwide News understands that the incident took place on January 8 this year and a complaint was made to the Police two days later. But, when contacted this morning – SSP Ferguson declined to say when the incident took place.
In an unusual move – he also declined to indicate when Neita will appear in court or when the charge was laid against her. But SSP Ferguson confirmed that the assault case against the MP is currently before the court.
SSP Ferguson referred our news center to the JCF’s Corporate Communications Unit, CCU,
Calls placed this morning and afternoon to the CCU Head, Assistant Superintendent Dahlia Garrick, were not answered.
Up to 2:00 this afternoon, personnel at the CCU told our news centre that the unit has not been advised that assault charges have been laid against the MP.
However, just before 4:00pm police personnel at the CCU said the unit had now been told of the assault charge but could not say when Neita is to appear in court.
Natalie Neita is accused of punching a man, Kevin Buchanan, during an altercation at the Petcom Head Office on Spanish Town Road.
Allegations are that Buchanan fell and went to hospital after he was attacked. It’s not immediately clear what sparked the altercation.
Neita reportedly does consultancy work at Petcom Head Office’s Human Resources Department. Buchanan was up until the time of the incident an employee of Petcom. It’s not immediately clear whether he’s still an employee. It’s understood that on the day of the incident – Police investigators turned up at Petcom but were unable to locate Neita.
Last week – a warrant was issued for the MP to be arrested and charged. However, the police were unable to locate her for several days.
Sources tell Nationwide News that the complainant, Mr. Buchanan, has been coming under pressure not to pursue the case against Ms. Neita.
It’s also understood that there’s concern among some members of the High Command that Neita wasn’t also charged with occasioning bodily harm.
When contacted today Neita initially denied that she was taken into custody.
However, she later said that the word of the Police that she was arrested and charged should be taken as fact.
In the meantime, a statement was issued at approximately 4:00 this afternoon by the law firm Kinghorn and Kinghorn.
The firm says it acts on behalf of PETCOM and the Member of Parliament for North Central St. Catherine, Natalie Neita.
Kinghorn and Kinghorn says it can confirm that Natalie Neita has been charged with Common Assault in relation to a matter concerning one, Kevin Buchanan.
According to Kinghorn and Kinghorn, Buchanan was formerly an employee of PETCOM. The attorneys say Neita serves in the capacity of a Consultant in Human Resource Management for PETCOM.
Neita’s attorneys say the incident occurred in circumstances where their client was attacked concerning an employment issue.
According to the media statement – Neita was attacked, when Mr. Buchanan menacingly advanced upon her in a violent fit of rage, referring to her in derogatory terms.
According to the attorneys, Neita was constrained to defend herself as allowed by law.
They say Ms. Neita refutes any allegation or contention that she wronged the complainant and intends to vigorously defend the charge of common assault when the matter comes up before the court.
Efforts this afternoon to contact Mr. Buchanan were unsuccessful.
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