INDECOM has right to probe firing of mortars by soldiers, says court

THE Full Court which ruled yesterday refused the Jamaica Defence Force’s (JDF) application to prevent INDECOM from serving notices on and taking evidence on oath from persons regarding the 2010 Tivoli operation.

The court handed down its ruling following a judicial review filed by the JDF on January 29, 2016 into the commission’s decision to investigate the firing of mortars by the army during the 2010 joint police/military operation in Tivoli Gardens.

INDECOM had obtained a search warrant to get evidence and information pursuant to its investigations, and notices were also served requiring members of the JDF to answer questions and provide statements.

The court unanimously ruled that INDECOM’s investigations were not an unreasonable exercise of power.

At the same time, majority of the judges refused the JDF’s applications to quash the warrant and prohibit the execution of the warrant at JDF premises. A majority further ruled that the execution of the warrant on the JDF’s premises would not be prejudicial to the interests of the State.

The JDF had sought to rely on a ministerial certificate to refuse the production of evidence for a number of items, but the court only granted immunity for a single item — the operational orders.

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