Editorial

The DPP and those shadowy men who would steal virtue from our nation

Thursday, June 12, 2014    

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There are few bright spots in the Jamaican justice system that we better fight might and main to preserve, if we wish not to return to the vicious legal jungle from which we are slowly emerging. The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions is one such.

The recent attempts by shadowy men who hide behind newspaper editorials to taint the Office and the holder of the Office, Ms Paula Llewellyn, are most unbecoming and a travesty of the highest order. Let us have no doubt about that.

The surreptitious attempt to link the DPP with some alleged form of wrongdoing in respect of the recently concluded ATL pension fund case must be exposed for what it is — a thinly veiled attack upon the integrity of one of the last remaining bulwarks of justice in our nation.

It began with Mr Frank Phipps, QC, who must know better, we are sure, than suggesting that the DPP should have investigated the applications of some private attorneys for a fiat to be associated with the prosecution in the ATL case before granting it.

Such applications are par for the course, as Mr Phipps well knows. The practice over many years, going as far back as we can remember, is that the DPP only intervenes in the application process if requested on good grounds, or if the DPP is not convinced about the bona fides of the attorney on whose behalf the application is made. Otherwise, she would spend all her time investigating the large number of applications which are routinely made.

That Mr Phipps' quite curious prattle is being parroted by others, who should at least have informed themselves about the process before committing to pen, suggests that mischief, severe, ugly and desperate, is afoot.

We feel strongly because we know how easy it is to tear down the agents of hope, with no plans to build anything better as their replacement. Regrettably, many men and women in this land have acted against State agencies, not out of any patriotic or nationalistic fervour, but out of selfish interests designed to advance their own cause.

Ms Llewellyn is a shining example of integrity, hard work, commitment to nation and justice and one who remains well out of the influence of those who would manipulate and corrupt public officers to their own nefarious ends. She became Jamaica's first, and so far only, woman DPP by dint of excellence, intellect and scholarly work.

We have had occasion only recently in this space to celebrate her genius and to hold her up to our still fledgling nation as a model of success, especially to Jamaican women who are struggling, but finding it difficult to overcome the unnatural obstacles in their way and who could learn from her confident bearing and wholesome character.

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