Mr. Valston Graham
Director of Public Prosecutions
Director of Public Prosecutions
Office of the Attorney General
Who We Are
Although the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions falls within the hosting remit of the Office of the Attorney General, The Constitution of St. Kitts and Nevis provides for the independent functioning of the Director of Public Prosecutions in relation to matters of criminal prosecutions before the Court.
The Director of Public Prosecutions is appointed by the Governor General acting in accordance with the recommendation of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission.
The Office is staffed as follows:
- Director of Public Prosecutions
- Senior Crown Counsel
- Crown Counsels
- Administrative and Clerical Staff
- Attendant Staff
What We Do
We exercise our independent professional discretion in pursuance of the following tasks:
- instituting and undertaking such criminal proceedings against any person before any court of law (other than in a court-martial) in respect of any offence under a law alleged to have been committed by that person;
- taking over and continuing any such criminal proceedings that have been instituted or undertaken by any other person or authority; and
- discontinuing (at any stage before judgment is delivered) any such criminal proceedings instituted or undertaken by our office or any other person or authority.
Serious offences (referred to as indictable offences) are pursued in the higher courts by our office. Less serious criminal offences (referred to as summary offences) are dealt with in the Magistrate Court in keeping with the provisions of the Small Charges Act. However, there are some instances in which an accused may elect to have her/his more serious matter dealt with summarily in the Magistrate Court.
How We Carry Out Our Mandate
When accused committed for trial copy of depositions to be supplied to Director of Public Prosecutions.
When a person is committed for trial under the provisions of the Magistrate’s Code of Procedure Act, Cap. 3.17, the Registrar of the Circuit, in which the person has been committed, shall, as soon as practicable after the written information (if any), the depositions and the statement of the accused have been delivered to him or her in accordance with the provisions of the Magistrate’s Code of Procedure Act, cause a copy of the said documents to be made and delivered to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Power of Director of Public Prosecutions to remit cause for further inquiry.
At any time after the receipt of the copy of the documents mentioned in section 12 and before the sitting of the Court to which the accused person has been committed for trial, the Director of Public Prosecutions may, if he or she thinks fit, remit the cause to the Magistrate with directions to re-open the inquiry for the purpose of taking evidence or further evidence on a certain point or points to be specified, and with any other directions he or she thinks proper.
Power of Director of Public Prosecutions to remit cause to be dealt with summarily.
If after the receipt of the copy of the documents mentioned in section 12 the Director of Public Prosecutions is of opinion that the accused person should not have been committed for trial but that the matter should have been dealt with summarily, the Director of Public Prosecutions may, if he or she thinks fit, at any time after that receipt, remit the cause to the Magistrate with directions to deal with it accordingly, and with any other directions he or she thinks proper.
Power of Director of Public Prosecutions to remit case for committal.
(1) In any case where the Magistrate discharges an accused person, the Director of Public Prosecutions may require the Magistrate to send to him or her the depositions taken in the cause, or a copy thereof, and any other documents or things connected with the cause which he or she thinks fit.
(2) If, after the receipt of those documents and things, the Director of Public Prosecutions is of opinion that the accused person should have been committed for trial, the Director of Public Prosecutions may, if he or she thinks fit, remit them to the Magistrate, with directions to deal with the matter accordingly, and with any other directions he or she thinks proper.
Further provision as to remission of cause.
(1) Any directions given by the Director of Public Prosecutions under sections 13, 14 and 15 shall be in writing and shall be complied with by the Magistrate but the Director of Public Prosecutions may at any time add to, alter or revoke such directions.
(2) Whenever the Director of Public Prosecutions gives any directions under sections 13, 14 or 15, the following provisions (where necessary or applicable) shall have effect, that is to say,
- the Registrar at the request in writing of the Director of Public Prosecutions shall send back to the Magistrate the original documents transmitted to him or her by the Magistrate;
Right of Director of Public Prosecutions to enter nolle prosequi.
(1) At any time after the receipt of the copy of the documents mentioned in section 12, and either before or at the trial and at any time before verdict, the Director of Public Prosecutions may enter nolle prosequi either by stating in Court or by informing the Court in writing addressed to the Registrar that the Crown intends that the proceedings shall not continue, and, thereupon, the accused person shall be at once discharged in respect of the charge for which nolle prosequi is entered, and if he or she has been committed to prison, shall be released, or if he or she is on bail, his or her recognizance shall be discharged, but his or her discharge shall not operate as a bar to any subsequent proceedings against him or her on the same facts.
(2) If the accused person is not before the Court when nolle prosequi is entered, the Registrar shall cause notice in writing of the entry to be given to the keeper of the prison in which the accused in detained, and also to the Magistrate of the district in which he or she was committed for trial, and the Magistrate shall forthwith cause a similar notice in writing to be given to any witnesses bound over to give evidence at the trial and to the accused and his or her sureties if he or she has been admitted to bail.
Mode of trial.
A person who is committed for trial shall be tried on an indictment filed by the Director of Public Prosecutions: Provided that nothing in this section shall affect the right of the Director of Public Prosecutions to file a criminal information.
(1) The Director of Public Prosecutions may instruct counsel to prosecute on behalf of the Crown at any sitting of the Court or on any day or days of the sitting.
(2) It shall not be necessary for any person so appointed to produce any commission or other proof of his or her having been so appointed.
(3) Any person so appointed shall, in relation to the business before the Court during the subsistence of his or her appointment, have all the powers and perform all the duties of the Director of Public Prosecutions but subject to any express directions of the Director of Public Prosecutions in that behalf
How We Are Financed
The operations of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions are financed by budgetary allocations through the Ministry of Finance as outlined in the Annual Estimates and Budget of the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis.
- Crown Counsels
- Police Prosecutor
- Other Government Ministries and Departments
- Attorneys in private practice
- Lecturers and other professionals
Who We Mostly Interact With
- The Office of the Attorney General
- The Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs
- The High Court
- The Magistrate Court
- The Police Prosecutors