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Tambourine Army co-founder freed

Thursday, May 18, 2017

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LATOYA Nugent, co-founder of the embattled advocacy group Tambourine Army walked out of the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court yesterday a free woman after the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Paula Llewellyn offered no evidence against her.The human rights advocate was arrested and charged on March 14 with three counts of using a computer for malicious communication, under the Cybercrimes Act, by detectives assigned to the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch.

The charges were made after complaints to the police that posts on December 30, 2016 on social media websites, including Facebook, were said to be defamatory against people she claimed to be sex abusers.

Yesterday, the DPP, in a news release, stated that the posts were not obscene or threatening or menacing and that there would be no usefulness in assessing whether or not at the time Nugent intended to harass or cause harm.

Meanwhile, the advocacy group, in a release yesterday, said Nugent is contemplating legal action on the matter of her arrest under the Cybercrimes Act and a constitutional challenge to the legislation.

“We are relieved that the DPP made a no-evidence submission, which then led to the discontinuance of the case. A warrant for her arrest was never presented at the time of the arrest. Up to this morning when the case was mentioned, no warrant for the arrest of Nugent was presented to her legal team, and no warrant for the seizure of property was presented,” the Tambourine Army said. It added that the group remained curious about the arrest and wondered whether it amounted to an abuse of power by the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

The Tambourine Army, which describes itself as a radical social justice movement, said it is committed to uprooting the scourge of sexual violence and safeguarding the rights of women and girls.

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