The One Bermuda Alliance has called for an immediate explanation on the recent spate of resignations within the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Shadow Minister of Legal Affairs, Scott Pearman said the “significant resignations” fuel the existing backlog of cases to be prosecuted.

As first reported by TNN yesterday (Aug 15), “questions are being asked…as to why there is a mass exodus of lawyers departing from the office of the Department of Public Prosecution”.

TNN has received word of seven lawyers resigning from this Government department”, including “the names of Aqueelah Simmons, Karen King Deane, Kentisha Tweed, Tine Tucker, Jaleesa Simmons,
with Maria Sofianos handing in her resignation believed to be on last Friday August 12th.”

But the DPP, headed up by Cindy Clarke, would not confirm just how many resignations there had been.

Meanwhile, Mr Pearman stressed that the DPP “is a fundamental constitutional office that is essential to our island”.

“The office of the DPP is responsible for prosecuting all criminal cases in Bermuda on behalf of the Crown. Simply put, the DDP prosecutes criminals on behalf of the people of Bermuda,” he said.

“Although unconfirmed, the news of significant resignations at the DPP requires an immediate explanation. The public needs to be assured this issue is being given the most urgent attention.

“This alarming news comes at a time when there is already a considerable backlog on prosecuting criminal cases in Bermuda.

“The stability and integrity of the office of the DPP is a matter of extreme importance to all Bermudians. The public needs to be informed what exactly has happened, why it happened, and how concerns at the DPP will be swiftly resolved.”

The DPP, Cindy Clarke, said: “The department is in the process of recruitment. Two counsel are scheduled to commence employment early in September.

“The public can be assured that there has been no reduction in the coverage of court or trials. We wish those counsel who are moving on to new endeavours all the best in their future.”