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Former CAL exec given nod to challenge DPP ruling

BY PAUL HENRY Co-ordinator — Crime/Court Desk henryp@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, July 30, 2013    

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THE Supreme Court yesterday gave the go ahead for a former Caribbean Airlines Ltd executive to challenge a decision by the director of public prosecutions (DPP) to stop her prosecution of the airline.

Nerine Small, the former the vice-president of legal affairs and corporate secretary, had initiated prosecution of the airlines in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court for refusing to honour a July 2012 ruling by the Industrial

Disputes Tribunal to reinstate her in her job with full pay, effective July 1, 2011.

The parties were to appear in court on February 7 when Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn, QC, stopped the prosecution.

The DPP wrote Small's attorney, Georgia Gibson-Henlin, before the February court date stating that it would be seen by the court as "oppressive and unfair to prosecute Caribbean Airlines at this time as they have sought the intervention of the honourable minister [of labour] which is provided for by law to assist in resolving the impasse that has arisen subsequent to the award of the industrial tribunal".

According to court documents, Queen's Counsel Walter Scott had written to the DPP in January, on behalf of CAL, inviting her to exercise her power under section 94 of the Constitution and discontinue what he described as "this charade of a private prosecution, which in essence amounts to an abuse of the process of the criminal court".

The letter was not copied to Small nor her legal representatives. Small subsequently applied to the Supreme Court for Judicial Review of the DPP's decision.

The application was heard by Justices Horace Marsh, Christine McDonald and David Batts in early July and a decision reserved.

Yesterday, the court granted Small leave to apply for judicial review by "way of Certiorari to quash the decision" of the DPP.

The court made several orders, including that the DPP's decision be stayed pending the determination of the application for Judicial Review and that the criminal proceedings in the RM court be stayed pending the determination of the application for Judicial Review.

Tracy Ann Johnson and Andrea Swaby appeared for the DPP and Carlene Larmond for the attorney general.

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