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Nov 27, 2014

Can the Police Department and D.P.P.’s Office Mend Fences?

Cheryl-Lynn Vidal

So with all that said, is there hope for collaboration between the Police Department and the D.P.P.’s Office? With so much at stake, can there be some efficient, effective partnership between both bodies which play such a crucial role in our justice system? Well you would think, so, but it’s not going to happen. According to the D.P.P., that ship has already sailed.

 

Via Phone: Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, Director of Public Prosecutions

“I met with the Minister, the Commissioner, the C.E.O. and the Head of National CIB because this is a matter of real concern for us, but they are all adamant that this is the way they intend to proceed. And legally I have no powers to direct the Commissioner. There are certain instances in which the legislation says that the D.P.P. must be consulted. Otherwise I don’t really have any powers to compel the Commissioner to have his officers transmit files to the D.P.P.’s office. So that ship has already sailed. They’ve said what their position is. What we are trying to do at our office is to see what we can put in place to ensure that as soon as a matter goes before the Court and it is now in our arena, that we act on it immediately to ensure that the people have been properly charged and to see that the evidence has been progressing in the way that it should.”

 

We note, just for interest in a completely unrelated matter, that the directive from the Police also has significant impact on an allegedly ongoing investigation ordered by the Court. Remember Elvin Penner and that thing called Mandamus? Belizeans have been waiting anxiously for the file compiled on Penner – that file which was to have been handed over to the D.P.P. for the consideration of criminal charges. Well, with the new directive in effect, the Commissioner is no longer under any obligation to hand over any file to the D.P.P. for perusal, including the Penner file. So that, effectively, is the end of that.

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