GIRLS JUMP FROM MOVING CAR AS DRIVER TRIES TO GET AWAY FROM POLICE—05/09/15
According to Kingston Central Police, three high school girls jumped from a moving “robot” taxi as the driver of the vehicle attempted to elude law enforcement in downtown Kingston. Fredrick Cameron, 48, the driver of the taxi, was apprehended and charged with a number of breaches of the Road Traffic Act. He was operating his car as an illegal taxi when the girls jumped out of the vehicle. They were taken by police to a hospital and were treated and released. Police urge the public to use only legal public passenger vehicles to avoid problems.
CLAUSE DROPPED FROM EVIDENCE BILL—05/10/15
The Jamaican Senate eliminated a clause from the Evidence (Amendment) Act that addressed computer-generated evidence. Section 31(G) will be repealed and a new position introduced. This will make it easier to use such evidence at trial. The initial proposal had stated that when evidence is produced by a computer, it would have been presumed that the computer was working properly at all material times, unless there was specific evidence introduced to show that it was not. Senator K.D. Knight was among those who believed the original proposal would shift the evidentiary burden away from prosecutors onto defendants.
BOYD CAREY, RETIRED HIGH COURT JUDGE, DIES—05/11/15
Boyd Carey, a retired Jamaican high court judge, died at his home in Florida. Justice Carey had served in the Judiciary of the Caribbean as a Judge of the Court of Appeal in Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Belize for 32 years. He was also a Judge of the Supreme Court and Associate Tutor for 25 years at Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica and Eugene Dupuch Law School in the Bahamas. In 2010, he was removed as chairman of the commission of inquiry investigating the financial sector collapse of the 1990s because he was found to be a FINSAC debtor.
JAMAICA SHOULD LEAVE PRIVY COUNCIL FOR CCJ, SAYS HOUSE—05/12/15
Jamaica’s House of Representatives has voted for the nation to leave the Privy Council for the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), using that as its final Court of Appeal. The bill to amend Jamaica’s Constitution to make the CCJ the final appellate court required a two-thirds majority in the vote, which it attained with the addition of House Speaker Michael Peart’s vote. The Opposition called for a divide but was repeatedly outvoted.
NWC OWES DEFENSE FORCE OVER $700 MILLION—05/13/15
The Jamaica Defense Force (JDF) says that the National Water Commission (NWC) owes it more than $700 million for overcharging for a period of eight years. The JDF is negotiating with the NWC to recover the funds, according to Major General Stewart Saunders, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security. The charges stem from an arrangement in which water flowing along various easements that the JDF has with several communities has been charged to the JDF. This has resulted in some communities not paying for water for “quite some time,” says Saunders.
THOUSANDS OF JAMAICANS HELPED BY U.S. MEDICAL SHIP—05/14/15
According to Dr. Fenton Ferguson, Jamaica’s Minister of Health, 9,543 Jamaicans availed themselves of health care on the United States Naval Ship Comfort, which provided medical services to the population from May 6 through 13. The medical personnel on board the ship provided dental care, general medical services, women’s health care, pediatric care, optometry services and pharmacy services.
GOVERNMENT SPENT $270 MILLION ON OBAMA VISIT—05/15/15
The Jamaican government estimates that the costs associated with hosting the United States President Barack Obama in April 2015 will totals about $270 million. Sandrea Falconer, the Minister with the responsibility for information, provided the estimate at a Cabinet briefing. Over $200 million was spent on road rehabilitation, while some $66 million was spent on various events related to Obama’s three-day visit.
FIRE BRIGADE LEAVES SOME FIRES TO BURN—05/15/15
Because of an inability to fight all the fires burning across Jamaica, the Fire Brigade says that it must leave some fires to burn themselves out. According to Errol Mowatt, the brigade commissioner, priorities for its services relate to saving lives. Securing property is second on their list of priorities, he said, noting that firefighters face greater dangers in fighting the Mavis Bank fire in St. Andrew, which has been burning for two days.