PM recommends 3 year extension for DPP despite objection

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PM recommends 3 year extension for DPP despite objection

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Prime Minister Andrew Holness has gone ahead and recommended a three-year extension of tenure for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), despite strong criticisms by Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips, who wrote to the governor general objecting to the extension.

This morning Holness characterised as unfortunate the airing of the matter in the public domain, stating that public pronouncements complicate these matters. According to a Gleaner report on Tuesday, Dr Phillips, in his submission to Governor General Sir Patrick Allen in March, cited a poor track record on corruption prosecutions, and “many deficiencies” in the conduct of the office of the DPP over the past 12 years.

"The convention that has happened is that these matters are not drawn into public debate...it is unfortunate that this matter has reached into the public domain," Holness stated at a press conference at Jamaica House this morning.

The prime minister said that after consultation with Dr Phillips, he made the recommendation to the governor general for a three-year extension of Paula Llewellyn's service.

"It was important to ensure that the office had enough time to prepare for transition and management and I believe that the present DPP has done excellent work...generally most persons would agree that the current DPP has done a fairly good job in building out the office of the DPP, not just in the execution of her role, but in terms of strengthening the institution itself. The government after consultations decided to extend her term of service for another three years. Looking at it from a public good point of view, I don't believe any harm has been done and I think that the expression of confidence in the work of the DPP will ensure that the public continues to be well served," Holness argued.

He further stated that he was not convinced by the Opposition leader's argument that an incoming administration should not in any way be tied to the existing DPP, as that position, "undermines the constitution and authority of the office. I found that to be an unfortunate statement".

The DPP's service, as per the Constitution, should end at the age of 60, but an extension not exceeding five years can be granted before the DPP attains the retirement age, by way of the governor general acting on the recommendation of the prime minister in consultation with the Opposition leader.

Llewellyn turns 60 this September.

Alphea Saunders


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