Following his 2020 dispute with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewellyn, attorney Isat Buchanan was found guilty of professional misconduct by a disciplinary committee of the General Legal Council (GLC).
According to reports from the Jamaica Gleaner, the decision was handed down by the GLC during a virtual hearing on Saturday after the council found that Buchanan violated Canon 1b of the Legal Profession (Canons of Professional Ethics) Rules. Llewellyn filed a complaint against Buchanan after an interview with the attorney was published in Loop News. Representing incarcerated artiste Vybz Kartel, born Adidja Palmer, Buchanan alleged in the interview that Llewellyn’s office was hindering the deejay’s defence as they tried to re-examine an item of evidence in his case.
Kartel’s representatives were attempting to gain access to his phone, which had been seized by the authorities and later used as evidence during his murder trial. It was believed by Buchanan and the entertainer’s legal team that the device was tampered with and accused Llewellyn’s office of being “…very deliberate in their action to continue to violate the constitutional rights of Adidja Palmer.”
Llewellyn issued a lengthy response to the article, dismissing the allegations and calling them “reckless, dangerous, and a possible violation of the Canons,” which states, “An attorney shall at all times maintain the honour and dignity of the profession and shall abstain from behaviour which may tend to discredit the profession of which he is a member.”
Speaking on the issue later, Llewellyn said, “This particular characterisation and talk about violating his client’s constitutional right has struck a wrong nerve in all my prosecutors.”
After Llewellyn’s accusation of possible misconduct, Buchanan said that his statements were not meant as an attack on the reputation or integrity of the Office of the DPP. During today’s proceedings, Buchanan was represented at the hearing by John Clarke and DPP Llewellyn by attorney Andre Earle. Earle disclosed to the Gleaner that a sanction hearing in the matter was set for October 22.