The province’s independent Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT) has laid three charges of assault against a member of the Sackville RCMP. Const. Zeran (Justin) Hutson Simmonds, 30, will appear in Dartmouth provincial court on Feb. 20 to face charges of assaulting his partner. The charges against the five-year officer relate to incidents between Dec. 30, 2012 and Jan. 5, 2013. Shortly after midnight on Jan. 5, a woman made a 911 call to police. The call came from the Beaver Bank home of a male RCMP member. RCMP immediately responded and placed the officer under arrest. In accordance with the Police Act, the RCMP called SIRT, which assumed responsibility for the investigation. SIRT is responsible for investigating all serious incidents involving police in Nova Scotia. Investigations are under the direction and control of independent civilian director Ron MacDonald. The team can independently launch an investigation, or begin one after a referral from a chief of police, the head of the RCMP in Nova Scotia or the Minister of Justice. It can also investigate after a complaint from the public. A public report summarizing the results of the investigation must be filed within three months after it is finished.
“Members of the Security Council expressed full support to the Heads of State and Government of the SADC [Southern African Development Community] for their strenuous efforts in finding a solution to the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” the Council’s current President, Ambassador Jagdish Koonjul of Mauritius, said in a press statement. The SADC Extraordinary Summit Meeting to discuss conflict situations in the region will be held on 14 January in Malawi.