Jamaica MP: I did nothing wrong

Former Cabinet minister Daryl Vaz.

KINGSTON — Former Cabinet minister Daryl Vaz yesterday insisted that he had not breached the Corruption Prevention Act when he enquired into a traffic violation charge slapped on a close friend, and vowed to fight any charge levelled at him by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Vaz; his friend, who is a prominent businessman; and a senior superintendent of police are expected to be in court today where they are likely to be charged with perverting the course of justice.

“Arising from an investigation into the traffic violation involving my close personal friend, the DPP’s Office has ruled that I be charged … my enquiries into this matter concerning my close friend were made out of concern and done openly and with no ill intent,” the West Portland MP said in a statement.

Vaz was reacting to news yesterday of the ruling by the ODPP that all three men be charged in relation to a traffic offence for which the businessman was ticketed.

A source close to the case said that the businessman was cited by a police sergeant for speeding on the Sir Florizel Glasspole Boulevard in Kingston on April 9.

The businessman was apparently taking family members to the Norman Manley International Airport.

When he was asked for the motor vehicle documents, the businessman handed them to the sergeant who, on examining them, found two $1,000 notes among the papers.

The sergeant, the Observer learnt, believed that the money was an attempt to bribe him and notified his colleague sergeant who was a member of his team.

The businessman was subsequently accused of trying to bribe a police officer and was taken to a police station where he was arrested, then offered station bail.

During that time, the police sergeant who had pulled over the businessman said he received phone calls from a number of persons, including Vaz, enquiring about the arrest.

The sergeant, our source revealed, also said that a number of senior police officers went to the police station to assist the businessman. (Observer)

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