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Minister: Ask Mr Ellington whether he still has a visa

Friday, July 04, 2014    

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INFORMATION Minister Sandrea Falconer says the Government has not been notified if the United States Embassy has revoked the visa of embattled outgoing Police Commissioner Owen Ellington.

Falconer, responding to questions from journalists at yesterday's Jamaica House press briefing, said Ellington would be in the best position to answer that question.

"I have not been advised; I was at Cabinet on Monday and we were not advised that there was such an action. I would suggest that you ask Mr Ellington whether he still has a visa," she said.

The Government, she added, would not necessarily be informed if Ellington's visa was revoked as the visa is the property of the United States.

"Maybe not, maybe not, maybe his minister (of national security) would be advised; I have not been told that there has been such an action," she said. "And, you know, I would caution against wild speculation. If there's an issue with the commissioner's visa, that would be his role to say this is the situation [as] I don't think the Government would make any such pronouncement; it is a personal thing."

Ellington announced Monday that he was stepping down, sending shockwaves across the nation.

He indicated that he decided to retire after his vacation leave, based on the need to separate himself from the leadership of the force before the start of the pending Commission of Enquiry into the conduct of the operations of the security forces in Western Kingston during a major offensive in May 2010 to serve an arrest warrant on now incarcerated former Tivoli Gardens strongman Christopher 'Dudus' Coke.

Ellington also said his departure will allow for the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) to probe allegations of a police death squad in Clarendon without any perceived interference on his part.

He was appointed to the top job in the constabulary in May 2010.

Former Deputy Commissioner Glenmore Hinds has been appointed by the security ministry to act as commissioner.

— Karyl Walker

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