Zip being put on ex-cop
KINGSTON – The Government is combing through the Official Secrets Act to see if it can find provisions to silence Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin, whose devastating allegations have rocked the administration.The former police commissioner broke a self-imposed six months of silence weeks ago and since then, has made several damning charges against the Bruce Golding administration.Now, National Security Minister Dwight Nelson says the Government will be monitoring all further comments from the former army man and, if needs be, will seek to use the law to shut him up.“We have to determine whether the former commissioner is bound by the Official Secrets Act and whether he can speak of any briefings he might have had with both me and the prime minister in his capacity as commissioner of police,” Nelson said.The Official Secrets Act of 1911, imported from England, prohibits public servants from revealing certain information which would affect areas such as national security.The act, amended in 1989, places a burden of secrecy on a member or former member of the security and intelligence services, or those working closely with them.
There is no public-interest defence, and disclosure of information already in the public domain is still a crime. Nelson said he would be “monitoring very closely what Lewin says from now on within that context”.Lewin last week alleged that deposed Tivoli Gardens don Christopher “Dudus” Coke, who the United States has charged for drug-smuggling and gunrunning, was “tipped off”. But Nelson claimed he was not trying to muzzle Lewin by the threat of the lawsuit or the move to put his statements under the microscope of the “zip-mouth” law. “I am bound by the Official Secrets Act and he is bound by the Official Secrets Act. It is a matter of law. Let him speak, but I will be taking note of what he says,” Nelson, said.