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JAMAICA | Chuck withdraws comments regarding arrest of Ruel Reid, co-accused

  • Written by wiredja.com - Calvin G. Brown
  • Published in Justice
Featured Justice Minister Delroy Chuck Justice Minister Delroy Chuck
KINGSTON, October 10, 2019 - Justice Minister Delroy Chuck has withdrawn comments he made about Wednesday's arrest and charge of former education minister Ruel Reid and his four co-accused.
Minister Chuck's  withdrawal followed a scathing criticism from Opposition Spokesperson on Justice Donna Scott Mottley, who said the comments had the potential of undermining the investigative work of the police and fuelling public skepticism and opposition to the corruption probe.

The Shadow Minister of Justice said she was deeply disappointed with the comments made by the  Justice Minister which appeared to have thrown doubt on the ongoing work of law enforcement agencies investigating the myriad of allegations surrounding former Education Minister, Ruel Reid; the President of the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), Fritz Pinnock, and others.

Senator Scott-Mottley said Minister Chuck’s statement that “the arrests took place in a manner that looks like Nicodemus in the night,” and his other misplaced comments on the raid and the timing and intent of the searches are unfortunate. Those remarks have the potential of undermining the investigative work of the police and fuelling public skepticism and opposition to the ongoing corruption investigation.

She said Minister Chuck’s statement also signals to the international community that the Jamaican government is willing to interfere in and to influence police investigations and compromise the balance of justice for its own political expediency. 

Senator Scott-Mottley also pointed out that Minister Chuck, who is an Attorney-at-Law by training and has taught law at one of the country’s premier universities should know that unsubstantiated comments of this nature are unwise and unnecessary in the present atmosphere, and have the potential of being prejudicial to the investigation and subsequent prosecution of the case. 

The Minister ought to ensure, that no conflict arises or appears to arise between his public duties and his private interests. His overarching duty is to protect the integrity of the public office which he occupies.

In withdrawing the statements, Mr. Chuck sought to explain them, noting that his comments were in part due to the fact that the media was present at all locations during the early morning raids. 
Mr. Chuck's daughter Carolyn Chuck is the attorney for the Reids. According to Mr. Chuck, he and his daughter lead separate, independent professional lives. 
"However, as Justice Minister, my comments were inappropriate and I duly withdraw them in their entirety," he admitted.  
Public Defender Arlene Harrison Henry has said the Justice Minister's comments on the manner in which Mr. Reid was arrested gave the wrong appearance.
She argued that he should not have commented on the matter because his post had "nothing at all to do with the investigation."
Furthermore, she said Mr. Chuck's commentary was "somewhat weakened by the fact that his daughter is counsel in the matter." 
  • Countries: Jamaica

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