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JAMAICA | PNP seeks legal advice on approval of 29 gun licences by Montague

Featured People’s National Party’s (PNP) Shadow Minister of National Security, Fitz Jackson People’s National Party’s (PNP) Shadow Minister of National Security, Fitz Jackson
Kingston, Jamaica, August 14, 2018: The People’s National Party’s (PNP) Shadow Minister of National Security, Fitz Jackson, M.P., says the party has sought legal advice in relation to the 29 gun license approvals, which former National Security Minister, Robert Montague, granted after they were rejected by the established Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA) mechanisms on account of adverse traces.

Mr Montague announced last week that a group of persons he empaneled to review decisions of the Review Board of the Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA) made the recommendations.

In a statement today, Mr. Jackson said there was no provision in law for the Minister to put together any ad hoc group to review the recommendations of a review board established by law and it was necessary for the PNP to be advised if the decisions allowing the appeals were ultra vires and therefore of no legal effect.

PNP says this is tantamount to an abuse of power with very serious consequences for the nation’s security. Mr. Jackson said there were several aspects of Minister Montague’s rebuttal of a TVJ News special investigative report that were troubling and needed to be reviewed and settled in Jamaica’s national security interest.

Mr. Jackson said Minister Montague needed to be transparent and to immediately disclose the names of the panel which he empowered to review recommendations the FLA’s legally constituted Review Board in respect of appeal to the Minister.

He also called for the full disclosure of their terms of reference and specifically what was their status in being privy to secret and sensitive national security information and in particular reports of the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

The PNP Shadow Minister said the party considered the actions of the then Minister as reckless and a serious breach of protocol concerning national security. Mr Jackson said he was also very concerned as to how any character being reported on by the police as an individual with adverse traces could be described by the Minister of National Security as a “national security asset”, a term which is unknown in Jamaica’s national security architecture. “It is further compounded by the fact that in trying to save his own skin, Montague was apparently willing to make unauthorized disclosures to the RJR/Gleaner group”, Mr. Jackson said.

The PNP spokesman said for all these transgressions, Minister Montague is clearly unfit for Cabinet membership and the Prime Minister ought to remove him from the Cabinet. Mr. Jackson further said the entire firearm licensing process has now been further compromised and if the group is still in existence, the Prime Minister should immediately instruct the present Minister of National Security to immediately disband the group in order to restore credibility to the system and the FLA.

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Last modified onThursday, 16 August 2018 11:45
  • Countries: Jamaica

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