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    Categories: Local News

High Command mum on charging fellow officer

The Police High Command in the federation is lacking in supplying information when it comes to its plans to laying charges on one of their own as advised by the director of public prosecution.

Constable Zaviel Jeffers, a member of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force, allegedly shot and killed Philo Wallace, 17, in October 2015 at a night club in Charlestown. An inquest conducted the following year determined the event as “justifiable homicide;” however, the determination as to whether or not Jeffers would be charged with a crime lay squarely with the DPP’s office.

The files were subsequently sent the DPP’s office in St. Kitts and on Aug. 12, DPP Valston Graham revealed to the Observer that he carried out a review of the file and “having considered all material I had before me, I was satisfied that the actions of Constable Jeffers was, in fact, disproportionate and could not be justified in my view, given the circumstances. As such, on April 12, I wrote to … Commissioner of Police Ian Queely and I advised him that criminal charges for the offense of manslaughter should be brought against Constable Jeffers.”

The DPP further stated that his office followed the proper protocol and the question that should be placed on the COP is “why he hasn’t acted on my advice? The fact that no further action was taken in the matter does not at the fault of my office. I have completed the review of the matter and I have advised the commissioner, as it is normal protocol. Any question as to why no further action has been taken should now be directed to the commissioner of police as to why he hasn’t acted on my advice.”

Just last week during a police press conference, Commissioner of Police Ian Queeley confirmed that Graham advised the high command of the police to charge the off-duty officer, but chocked it up to “that part is ongoing.”

The press conference at the police training center in Basseterre in St Kitts was attended by reporters from various media house throughout the federation. When asked by a member of the Observer as what they are going to do going forward, COP Queeley noted that “the DPP and the police have always been working together. Yes, the DPP, after reviewing the file, has recommended charges. The police high command has met with the DPP and that part is ongoing.”

On Wednesday, the Observer once again contacted Queely as to whether or not Jeffers had been charged, but he noted “not that I am aware of. But I am on leave; check with the deputy (Hilroy Brandy).”

On the advice from the COP, the Observer contacted DCP Brandy Thursday and when questioned, he said he had no comment on the matter.