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Report calls for more efficiency at Public Prosecutor’s Office

page3a121PHILIPSBURG--A new report from the Law Enforcement Council calls for more efficiency at the Prosecutor’s Office when it comes to criminal cases.

The Council urges Justice Minister Dennis Richardson to “encourage” the Prosecutor’s Office to “treat criminal cases within a reasonable period of time and as soon as possible take a decision to prosecute.”

The Council also said the Prosecutor’s Office should also maintain its actions for a more proactive communication practice and formulate a clear communication policy.

These points were amongst a list of 10 recommendations the Council made regarding the Prosecutor’s Office, the National Detectives Service and the Police Force. The recommendations are listed in a report the Council’s Chairman Franklyn Richards presented to Minister of Justice Dennis Richardson recently.

Another recommendation for the Prosecutor’s Office calls for the development, in cooperation with the Prosecutor’s Office in the Netherlands, of a human resource policy that suits St. Maarten and focuses on the benefits of efficiency, continuity and expertise. Another recommendation is to modernise the process monitoring system PRIEM and pursue meeting the applicable conditions for the granting of outgoing requests for assistance in law enforcement within the Kingdom.

The Council said in a press release on Wednesday that it recommended looking into the specific capabilities in St. Maarten and in the Kingdom to enhance the effectiveness of law enforcement by the Prosecutor’s Office, the National Detectives and the Police Force.

As it relates to the National Detectives, the Council advised the Minister to formulate a general political and administrative policy, implement measures to ensure that the National Detectives’ capacity is in accordance with its staffing plan, implement measures for its own process monitoring system and implement an improvement plan.

The Council said the recommendations had been reached as a result of recent investigations conducted by the Law Enforcement Council. The Justice Minister had requested in September 2014 that the Council to conduct an inspection into how the Prosecutor’s Office generally prosecutes cases and how content is given to the related discretionary principle of expediency.

The Council said the investigation was promoted after a judgment in the Court of First Instance on electoral fraud known as the Masbangu case in which “semblance of class justice” was used as a basis to declare the Prosecutor’s case inadmissible. The Court of Appeal overturned the judgment in May 2015. The Council said it had taken the judgement into consideration for its report.

A “comprehensive version” of the report can be read online at

www.raadrechtshandhaving.com .

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