Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Jamaica: the plot thickens

Yesterday must have been a lively day in court in Kingston, as it emerged that a former National Security Minister had in effect granted immunity in respect of the use of mortars against civilian targets. Details here from The Gleaner. Excerpt:
Former National Security Minister Peter Bunting exceeded his authority when he issued a certificate in January this year that shielded members of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) from prosecution for the use of mortars during the May 2010 police-military operations in west Kingston, attorneys for the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) have charged. 
That assertion came in the Judicial Review Court yesterday after it emerged that the certificate was issued under the Emergency Power Regulations and grants immunity from any action, suit, prosecution or other proceedings for those persons involved in the use of the explosives. 
The court is considering an application by army chief Major General Antony Anderson and the Defence Board to quash a warrant obtained by INDECOM to visit the JDF's Up Park Camp headquarters in St Andrew and inspect documents, records, information and other property related to the procurement and use of mortars during the operation. 
Court documents also revealed that Bunting issued another certificate on January 13 this year attaching public-interest immunity to several documents being sought by INDECOM.
The court hearing resumed today.

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