Come the end of May, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed between the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) and the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) to remove duplication of duties that now exist between them.
Speaking at a Jamaica Information (JIS) ‘Think Tank’ on May 27, Acting Public Defender, Matondo Mukulu, informed that his Office has been investigating the same crime scenes as INDECOM.
“The MoU with INDECOM will effectively give us more capacity as we will be turning over approximately two or three hundred cases to INDECOM, with the consent of the complainant,” the Acting Public Defender said.
Also speaking at the ‘Think Tank’ was Investigator in the Public Defender’s office, Kayla Beckford, who said that INDECOM will share case files with the OPD in matters of extra-judicial killings.
“INDECOM will deal with the criminal aspect and we will do the civil. While the criminal aspect is being investigated, the clients will still receive quarterly updates from us regarding the matter, because we know how the system works and investigations will take time,” she said.
She explained that once the criminal investigations have been completed, the case file will be turned over to the OPD for their civil investigations to get underway.
The OPD will also be signing a MoU with the Bureau of Gender Affairs which will result in the Bureau sending cases to the OPD. This will include cases that fall within the responsibilities of the OPD.
“We will design a list of factors to determine which of these cases we will proceed with and if we will provide financial support,” said the Acting Public Defender.
“These understandings will enable us to better manage the limited resources that we have,” he told JIS News.
By Shelly-Ann Irving