Opposition Shadow Minister of National Security, Fitz Jackson has called for former National Security Minister, Robert Montague to be sanctioned for what he said was an overruling of the recommendations of the country’s security authorities.
Montague yesterday sought to rubbish claims that, as Minister of National Security in 2017, he overruled a decision by the Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA) in accepting the gun licence appeal of an individual believed to be of questionable character from his St Mary Western constituency, saying due process was followed.
Montague, now Minister of Transport and Mining, said the media report was “incredulous”, noting that decisions made as security minister were made in the interest of the ministry and the country.
However, Jackson, in a release today insisted that Montague must be sanctioned for “this reckless undertaking that could have added fuel to the raging fire of murders in which the island is engulfed.”
Jackson claimed that Montague deliberately went against expert advice “29 times and possibly empowered persons with criminal intent”.
He said further that the current Security Minister, Horace Chang should immediately establish an independent audit of these 29 cases and overturn the decisions.
Montague in a press briefing yesterday said that the man in question was a “national security asset”. However, Jackson argued that this was “nothing but hogwash.”
“Montague knew that based on all the intelligence available to him that this man was an alleged gang leader and lottery scammer, whose application was rejected by the Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA) and the Review Panel. He also knew that the police had a mountain of information on this individual in relation to a number of investigations. Therefore, the explanation that this person was a “national security asset” was simply an invention to justify the unethical use of power to grant him and others firearm licenses,” Jackson said.
He added that: “This is another example of this government bypassing established systems to create channels to deliver what they desire, even if it is not in the interest of the Jamaican people,
Jackson raised several questions in regards to the matter: “Wouldn’t the so-called “national security asset” be known to the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB), and wouldn’t his “valuable” information be decrypted for national security purposes? On whose advice did the Minister rely to uphold or overturn the decisions of the legally constituted bodies of the State?”