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PERSPECTIVE: Anyone arrested must be taken before a competent court of law or Tribunal as soon as possible

Breaking Jamaican News

Terrence Williams, INDECOM Commissioner


Parish Judge Norman McIntosh has blasted the police for unacceptable conduct. “It is the practice in St. Catherine to keep prisoners in custody for protracted periods of time.” declared an obviously disgusted Parish Judge.

Breach Of Constitution

It is a breach of one’s constitutional rights for an accused to be held in custody indefinitely without being granted bail.

Parish Judge McIntosh after blasting the police for keeping the accused in custody without bail has ordered the accused released immediately.

The accused was charged for pocessing an “offensive weapon”.  We do not condone anyone breaking the law, but in the scheme of things this is a relatively minor offense. So for a suspect to be held in custody for 21 days without being offered bail is surprising.

The Police has been known to detain suspects and hold them in custody for inordinately long periods by virtually throwing away the key.

INDECOM

This comment by Parish Judge McIntosh comes on the heels of PM Holness’ apparently throwing the police watchdog (INDECOM) under the bus. Addressing his 74th Annual Conference, Holness said “INDECOM goes too far …” Holness needs to clarify his position on INDECOM.

Unprofessional Conduct

Does this behaviour on the part of the Police constitute a breach of Professional Conduct?  This is criminal offense under the INFECOM Act. Will this matter in a St. Catherine court will be investigated by INDECOM?

Role Of Parish Judge

The Parish Judge McIntosh, in St. Catherine should be commended for firmly standing up for the human rights of the accused who was left to rot in jail without being offered bail. Again congrats Madam Judge.

That is why a strong INDECOM is necessary to keep the police in check. We cannot engage in conduct that will undermine the effectiveness of INDECOM.

Politicians need to respect established laws and institutions.

This is why we need a motivated Police watchdog entity in the persons of INDECOM … PM Holness.

Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is Senior International correspondent & Photojournalist for Vision Newspaper.

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