Thursday, September 27, 2012

Letter: Let DPP explain who no charges laid against Ish and Steve

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the Attorney General, Mr Ramlogan, make a conscious decision not to challenge Justice Boodoosingh's ruling that struck down the order to send Messrs Galbaransingh and others off to the USA for trial? 

Why then, aren't we focusing on the sequence of events that led to the Attorney General adopting that course? 

In my view, only if the motive for the AG's conduct is taken into account may call for his early dismissal; those who make such calls ignorantly, must never therefore be given a second hearing. In fact, like capricious schoolchildren, they must be dismissed without being heard at all.

The newspapers have all reported that the AG issued his extradition order against which Galbaransingh and others appealed immediately by going to the court for judicial review. Court matters normally take forever to be heard, this one was heard and decided with utmost despatch. 

Judge Boodoosingh banged his gavel in favour of Mr Galbaransingh and others; the AG lost his case...but did not lose his mind, for, not long afterwards, he made a public statement to the effect that he was not going to appeal and gave his reason: he was of the view that our courts were sufficiently mature and trustworthy to deal with the individuals. 

It is a view I fully share, especially as by then Trinidad and Tobago was already forty-eights years old, so expected to handle its own affairs without reliance on outside help.

In our constitution, the responsibility and authority to deal with different aspects of governance are quite rightly distributed among several institutions and public officials. 

I said "quite rightly" because, in this day and age, no one institution or public post is or can be a law unto itself. Incumbent upon such constitutional arrangements as well is that each institution and public official must take careful note of what the other is doing and give due deference to each other. 

In my view, the AG did precisely those things when he allowed the law to run its course and stepped back to allow our judiciary to show it could deal effectively with citizens who broke laws in Trinidad and Tobago, as Mr Galbaransingh and others allegedly did: we cannot ignore the AG did declare he wasn't appealing because that would much further postpone the day when the alleged miscreants would actually be brought to trial.

Apart from the judiciary itself, regarding criminal matters, our constitution places the burden on both the police and the Director of Public Prosecutions to bring alleged miscreants before a magistrate to answer concerning that which they are charged. 

Of those two institutions, the DPP has more weight, because he can give a fiat to someone to prosecute, even to investigate further, if necessary, to strengthen the case against any person charged. 

As I understand it, the AG has no footing in criminal matters: only the police, the DPP and the courts have...granted, the President also, since the President can grant pardons.

In light of the above, the burning question remains: What prevented the police, the DPP and the courts from beginning the trials against Mr Galbaransingh and others once the AG announced our local courts are where they needed to be tried before being tried anywhere else?

In the midst of the storm in a teacup being whimsically motivated by certain quarters, the only answer I can decipher blowing in the wind is none; as a result of which, in my humble opinion, the Police Service, the DPP, the Chief Magistrate and the Chief Justice need to explain individually and collectively to the nation's satisfaction and quickly why they failed to act. 

If they can't, they must tender their resignations without delay and let proactive personalities take their place. If they won't, they must be fired to make room for the same proactive mindset to fill the consequent void.

Preston Maximus King | Brunton Road, St James (Schoolteacher)

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai