Acting DPP speaks on criminal investigations
The acting Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mr. Daarsrean Greene, on Thursday met with the local press to provide an update on the progress of the department's investigations. The office is working to settle "desk-loads of cases," some over a decade old, Greene said.
This was Mr. Greene’s first press conference since his appointment as head of the Crown Prosecution Service just over three months ago.
The conference was prefaced with a statement by the DPP, which provided clarification on key matters before the courts, some of which include the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security report (IMPACS), on the alleged police killings, 21 of which are under review; the Lambirds Academy case in which Chief Executive Officer Dr. Iftekhar Shams was charged with human trafficking and 49 counts of obtaining property by deception; and the investigation into the murder of British national, Oliver Benjamin Gobart.
The DPP stated that while he could not provide detailed information on the cases since they are still before the courts, he is determined that the matters are not going to be shelved.
"As promised, I have conducted an extensive review and I can say that for the majority of these cases I was able to plot a way forward. In some instances, I have written to the Commissioner of Police expressing my opinion. Many of the criminal investigations into these matters are still incomplete and as such I cannot disclose details of any findings of what in particular is missing from these investigations, as this would only prejudice the due process that is expected."
While there have been calls for an inquest into the alleged police killings, Mr. Greene said there is no absolute rule that these matters go to inquest. He added that as a result of the sensitivity of the cases, his office is unable to divulge information at every single stage of the investigations.
However, he was able to explain how the Lambirds CEO who was charged with 49 counts of obtaining property by deception was able to settle through mediation.
"I made a decision based on what I recognized to allow the mediation process in criminal proceedings to take effect," Mr. Greene said. "This is a very lawful way of dealing with matters, bearing in mind that the defendant spent just about two years on remand, something that should be inconceivable in the 21st century. I believe it was resolved justly and to the benefit of all parties concerned. So I can say safely that one aspect of Mr. Sham’s charges has been dealt with."
Dr. Shams' charge of human trafficking is still pending.
The DPP has asked the public to exercise patience as his office attempts to settle desk-loads of cases, some stemming from over a decade ago.