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Gov't tables fresh SOE regulations

Dr. Horace Chang
 
The government has tabled fresh regulations to the state of emergency now in place in St. Catherine, with changes it says now comply with last week's court ruling which declared previous measures unconstitutional.
 
The regulations were tabled in the House of Representatives Thursday after Tuesday's bungling which saw the wrong document being laid in the House.
 
The Emergency Powers (Parish of St. Catherine) (No. 3) Regulations revoke the previous regulations.
 
Section 30 and 33 of the regulations which deal with detentions have been modified, listing a range of offences for which a person can be detained on suspicion or as a preemptive measure.
 
Section 30 authorises their detention for periods of between 48 hours and seven days, with reviews after each seven-day period.
 
National Security Minister Dr. Horace Chang said the House of Representatives will discuss the regulations next Tuesday.
 
He said no decision has yet been made on whether the state of emergency will be extended as this will depend on the recommendation of the security forces. 
 
If the security forces do recommend an extension, Dr. Chang said he will consult with the Leader of the Opposition and the Leader of the House. 
 
Detentions 
 
Dr. Chang told the House that no one was detained under the now-revoked regulations tabled Tuesday. 
 
He said all arrests so far during the state of emergency have been carried out under the Jamaica Constabulary Force Act. 
 
Dr. Chang also revealed that the members of the Emergency Powers Review Tribunal for the St. Catherine state of emergency have been selected and are awaiting their instruments of appointment.
 
Foul-up
 
The national security minister said he is still unclear about how the foul-up of the regulations occurred.
 
He told the House of Representatives that the document was corrected and provided to him on Sunday. 
 
Pointing to a hard copy of the regulations he had in his hand, Dr. Chang said, from what he understood, that corrected document was what had been sent to the printers.  
 
"What came back on Tuesday was not what I have in my hand. How that happened is a matter of concern. As I indicated, we will investigate because it is of concern to me personally, as the minister responsible at this point in time, why such a grave error could have been made," he told the House. 
 
A probe has been launched into how the wrong regulations were tabled.
 


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