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Gov't proposes stiff penalities for breaches of Commission of Enquiry Act
2013-09-13 17:06:57 | (0 Comments)
The Government has proposed stiff fines for anyone who refuses to testify before a Commission of Enquiry.
Under the proposal, convicted offenders could be fined $3 million or sentenced to up to three years in prison up from the $500 fine now provided for in law.
The proposed amendments to the Commission of Enquiry Act are contained in a Bill was tabled in the Senate this morning.
The Bill, which is being piloted by Justice Minister Senator Mark Golding, says the change in the legislation is a response to recommendations from the 2002 West Kingston Commission of Enquiry.
The Commissioners has noted that they experienced difficulties in obtaining evidence from persons who were summoned before the enquiry.
It also proposes that anyone who willingly falsify evidence before a Commission as well as any person who conceals or destroys material relevant to an enquiry be fined $3 million or sentenced to up to three years in prison.
A similar punishment could also be levied against anyone who assaults, obstructs, hinders or use threatening or abusive language at member of the Constabulary Force in the execution of duties under the Act.
A $3-million fine or prison term of up to three years is also applicable to any person who inflicts harm or violence to anyone who appears before a Commission; cause someone to lose their job; or take steps to prevent someone from appearing before a Commission.
The increase in penalties for breaches of the Commission of Enquiry Act comes as the government prepares to set up an enquiry into the May 2010 West Kingston operation by the security forces.
More than 70 persons were killed and dozens injured during the operation aimed at capturing West Kingston crimelord Christopher 'Dudus' Coke.
Residents have accused the security forces of extrajudicial killings and other abuses.
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Source: The Gleaner/Power 106 News
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