‘NONESENSE!’ says PM re ‘unbecoming’ arguments on DPP’s retirement age Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has described as “nonsense” the suggestion by Opposition Leader Mark Golding that the current extension of the retirement age of any sitting Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to the age of 65 was done in order to influence matters under probe by the Integrity Commission (IC).

As it relates to the current DPP, Paula Llewellyn, Holness said it is entirely up to her to decide whether she will stay on as the island’s chief prosecutor when her current extension ends on September 21, 2023.

During a contentious debate to extend the retirement age of the DPP and auditor general from 60 to 65, Golding — the People’s National Party (PNP) President — had imputed motive between the retirement age extension for the current DPP and the Integrity Commission’s investigation of six parliamentarians for illicit enrichment.

Golding claimed that the Director of Corruption Prosecutions, Keisha Prince-Kameka, may be asked to consider charges against those parliamentarians at the end of the IC’s probe, and Llewellyn could terminate or overrule any decisions to prosecute those officials as she has the power to do so under the constitution.

“I would say (it’s) nonsense,” responded Holness when questioned about Golding’s assertions at a media briefing from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) on Thursday.

“… And it is unbecoming of someone who holds a constitutional office to bring into disrepute, literally, another constitutional office holder,” added Holness.

There have been widespread objections to the amendment to extend the retirement ages for the DPP and the auditor general, with even calls for a new DPP to be appointed.

However, the constitutional amendments are now law, and the current DPP can remain in office up to the age of 65, and even up to the age of 70 if she so desires.

Holness said it was up to Llewellyn if she wants to remain in the position.

“In terms of the office of the DPP, I think it really depends on the DPP (Llewellyn). She has an option if she wants,” he stated.

Meanwhile, the prime minister said he would not comment on the illicit enrichment probes currently underway relative to six parliamentarians.

“As it relates to the matters of the Integrity Commission, my own position is that I don’t discuss those matters,” Holness indicated.