New Director of Public Prosecutions to take up Office in October
Dominica will have a new Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) come October, after Mr. Gene Pestaina who filled that position demitted the position in July of this year.
A DPP is appointed under Section 88 of the Dominica constitution and after attaining the age of 65 the DPP must demit office.
During Mr. Pestaina’s absence, former United Workers Party (UWP) senator, Mr. Julian Prevost, filled the position as acting DPP for three months which ended.
However Minister of Tourism and Legal Affairs, Honourable Mr. Ian Douglas says, the new DPP is scheduled to take up his position in the second week of October 2013.
He noted, for someone to be considered for that position, he or she must have at least seven years as a practicing attorney at law, a sound knowledge of criminal practice and procedures is also necessary as this person would be the Chief Prosecutor of the State to prosecute all criminals.
After reviewing the two applicants, Guyanese national Mr. Kurt De Freitas was selected to permanently fill the position of Director of Public Prosecutions for Dominica.
Currently Attorney General Mr. Levi Peter is holding on as acting DPP, and will start the September Criminal Assizes before Mr. De Freitas arrives in October.
The second applicant was Chief Magistrate Evelina Baptiste who many thought would be accepted for the position and expressed support toward her being successful for the role.
This is how he responded to the thought that, Dominicans may not like the idea of a foreigner holding the position of DPP, when there are Dominicans adequately trained to do so.
Mr. De Freitas is an internationally experienced legal advisor with a track record of public law including: anti-money laundering regulation, international loan deals, as well as human rights, prosecutions and legislative drafting among others.
He has held posts as the Attorney General of Anguilla, St Helena, Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha, as well as the Turks and Caicos Islands and served as Solicitor General of the Cayman Islands, in addition to sitting as acting judge of the Supreme Court.
Mr. De Freitas earned top-level international experience from with other national authorities on high level cross border issues and other matters, including the United States’ Department of Justice and the UK’s Foreign Office.