The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has recommended that no criminal charges be brought against Floyd Green, Andrew Bellamy, Gabriel Hylton, and Dave Powell. This update follows a probe into the release of a viral video that showed the group at R-Hotel on a no-movement day. While the judgment appeared sympathetic to the politicians and their cronies, it was not the same fate for the hotel to have been recommended for a fine.
After careful assessment, the office of the director of public prosecution’s legal opinion is that no criminal charges ought to be filed against Floyd Green, Andrew Bellamy, Gabriel Hylton, Dave Powell, and several others.
This following the release of a viral video late last year showing then Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries and a councillor among 19 people at the R-Hotel during a purported “no movement day”. The police commenced investigations into alleged breaches of the disaster risk management act “DRMA.” But by then several resignations quickly followed and the then minister was removed from the post.
Given the high interest in this matter, the director of public prosecution’s (DPP) ruling was made public. The prosecution reasons that Green and Bellamy, in their privileged positions were benefiting from complete exemption under the Principal Act which outlines that a Member of the House of Parliament and councillors are allowed to leave their place of abode without restriction.
The DPP does recommend however that criminal charges be laid against the R-Hotel for its failure to abide by the protocols of the Ministry of Tourism, an offence which attracts a fine of up to a million dollars. They argue that the onus is on the hotel to manage its guests and to ensure that there is safety in respect of the operations of the facility.
The recommendations at the time stated that the maximum group size of hotels should be 10 persons but some 19 persons were reportedly gathered in the space hence the recommended charge. The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) indicated that as a matter of strict law, it is their interpretation that, the r hotel may be in breach of the DMRA. Nonetheless, they note the police will always retain the primacy of decision-making in matters concerning the initiation of prosecutions. It notes that if the police believe it is appropriate so to do having regard to their perception of the viability of the case after receiving legal opinion, they may proceed.
The ruling was forwarded to Assistant Commissioner of Police Anthony Mclaughlin, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Fitz Bailey, and the Commissioner of Police Major Antony Anderson on Friday, January 28, 2022.
Reporter: Jhanielle Powell