June 1 is the date set for the opening of the Criminal Prosecutions Service in Antigua and Barbuda.
Minister of Legal Affairs, Attorney General the Hon. Steadroy Cutie Benjamin said that the Director of Public Prosecution is working along with members of the Police Force, Immigration Department and Labor to establish the Criminal Prosecutions Service by the second quarter of the year.
Benjamin added that already, the staff complement within the DPP office has increased.
This, he mentioned will further ensure that manpower is in place, to make certain that justice is adequately delivered so that innocent persons will not be brought before the court.
The Attorney General explained the process. “The file will be brought to Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, he and his team will examine the file to discover first of all whether there is sufficient evidence upon which to lay a charge, in that case before charges are laid they must be satisfied that there is sufficiency meaning there is a responsible prospect of success in prosecuting the case.”
Minister of Legal Affairs continued that persons will not be charged on suspicion, but will be charged and brought to court if there is evidence upon which a jury or Magistrate can act upon to make a decision.
Police Prosecutors will be brought under the umbrella of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.