April 16, 2024

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness will not face corruption charges in conflict of interest case

A top prosecutor in Jamaica has ruled that Prime Minister Andrew Holness won’t face charges over possible conflict of interest in contracts awarded to a construction company in 2007-2009 while he was education minister.

Jamaica’s director of public corruption issued the ruling Thursday after reviewing a report on the case by the country’s Integrity Commission.

The commission investigated the case after a news report in 2016 raised questions about close ties between Holness and principals of a company hired for several roof repairs at schools and other projects.

JAMAICAN ANTI-CORRUPTION AGENCY INVESTIGATING THE COUNTRY’S PRIME MINISTER FOR POTENTIAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST

The panel found that Holness knew two directors and shareholders of the company for more than 20 years. The company had received 10 contracts totaling nearly $142,000, but only five of them were reported to the Office of the Contractor General as required, the report said.

Holness, education minister from 2007 to 2012, said he never exercised influence on any process for the awarding of the contracts. Holness became prime minister following 2016 elections.

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