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Dr. Gonsalves: No need to fear law

Dr. Gonsalves: No need to fear law

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Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves says that there is no reason to fear that the new powers afforded to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) in the Supreme Court amendment Bill would be used to persecute persons.

During the debate on the Bill passed last Thursday in Parliament, opposition senator Daniel Cummings said that he was concerned that the Bill could give room for the DPP to appeal cases with the intention to simply embarrass a defendant.{{more}}

Senator Cummings also said that he wondered if appointing a non national to the office of DPP “to allay fears of the public with regard to the vast amount of authority that resides in that office,” merited consideration.

The new bill will allow the DPP to appeal against unsatisfactory judgments and unsatisfactory sentences handed down by the High Court.

Dr Gonsalves said that the concerns of the opposition were unfounded since it would be “ill advised” for a DPP to appeal a judgment only to be unceremoniously dismissed at the Court of Appeal for bringing an appeal with no substance.

“He will be embarrassed in public,” said Dr Gonsalves.

Government Senator, Attorney-at-law Richard Williams, said that the pubic can be assured that there can be no persecution by the DPP because of the way the Bill is drafted.

“He must give his notice that he is going to appeal right there and

then, and if he does not do so that is essentially the end of the matter,” Williams said.

Senator Ronald Marks also added that although the power to appeal is in the hands of the DPP that in the end it is judges who would decide whether or not the appeal has any merit.

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