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Defence counsel pours scorn on DPP process

Defence counsel Elizabeth Christopher has described the decision to cast a search for a new Director of Public Prosecutions as “an insult” when there is a Bermudian qualified for the post.

There has been much contention surrounding the hiring of foreign workers in the Department of Public Prosecutions in recent times.

In January, lawyers walked out of a special sitting of the Supreme Court in protest against the re-appointment of Rory Field over a Bermudian to the office.

Ms Christopher told The Royal Gazette: “I was disturbed that the Governor suggested he is going to cast a search to fill the post because it would seem to me no search is required.

“There is already a qualified Bermudian — Cindy Clarke was in a position to take the post. I am the last person who should be arguing it because she is my professional adversary.

“She is a highly intelligent woman and I find the suggestion that they will need to search is an insult.

“Cindy has a very good working relationship with the police and the partners within the DPP. If I was up for the position and Bermudian I would feel insulted by the whole process. We are capable.”

Mr Fergusson told The Royal Gazette: “The process of providing me with a recommendation for appointment as DPP now lies with the Judicial and Legal Services Committee.”

Speaking on the re-appointment of Mr Field last January, a Cabinet Office spokesperson said at the time: “Naturally, the Premier is disappointed that a suitably qualified Bermudian has not been appointed.

“After expressing every intention to appoint a Bermudian DPP in 2007, 2010 and 2013, it is most unfortunate that the process adopted by Government House appears unable to make those intentions a reality.”

During a previous re-appointment of Mr Field, Mr Fergusson said: “Once again, I would intend to try to appoint a Bermudian candidate if possible, and subject to the advice of an independent panel. But, like judicial posts, this is not a job which should or will be filled according to political or other pressures.”

Professional praise: defence counsel Elizabeth Christopher, left, described Cindy Clarke, the deputy director of public prosecutions, right, as “highly intelligent” and qualified to take over as director (File photograph)

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Published December 11, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated December 11, 2015 at 8:35 am)

Defence counsel pours scorn on DPP process

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