Thursday, May 9, 2013

Guest Commentary: Summary Justice vs Some Justice

File: Sir Anthony Colman
As the Sir Anthony Coleman Commission of Enquiry (COE) into the affairs of CLICO and the Hindu Credit Union winds its weary way down after spending millions and millions of taxpayers dollars we are all left with the obvious question: so, what happens next? 

Because I doubt whether there is anybody who is going to be surprised that the Coleman report will be absolutely scathing in its criticisms of Lawrence Duprey, Harry Harnarine and the other members of the repective cast members in both organisations. Indeed, it would be mind boggling if the report was not severely critical of all of the actors on those two particular stages.

But the truth is that most people don't believe that anything will come of Sir Anthony's report. It is absolutely astounding that after all the time that has elapsed since the collapse of both institutions that not one criminal charge has been levied against anybody in either CLICO or the Hindu Credit Union. 

The Director of Public Prosecutions can hardly claim that he was waiting on Sir Anthony's report. He is on record as trying to limit the Enquiry because of his own investigations. So? What exactly is taking him so long to bring charges? What? 

And the mainstream media has been muted in its criticisms of the apparent footdragging by the DPP. Why? How many years does the DPP need to investigate these two matters? Two? Three? Five? Twenty? Because he has now had at least four years and not a single charge has been levied against anybody!! Incredible!!

That we aspire to live under a system of laws is a fact. That we deplore summary or what some call "Wild West" justice is also a good thing. It is axiomatic that persons accused of anything must be given every opportunity to defend themselves. No one can quarrel with that even when, for example, wealthy accused are able to drag out the cases over long periods of time (Ish and Steve come to mind). A man has an absolute right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

But for crying out loud, there has to be some justice available to the society. What has happened to the CLICO policy holders/investors and the HCU depositers is really, really, really wrong. 

I personally believe that crimes have been committed. Irregular salary and pension packages, golden handshakes and bonuses in the millions when the institutions were clearly bankrupt, over generous fees for attending meetings to rubber stamp decisions and dodgy auditors' reports all need to be dealt with and should have been scrutinised years ago. But they haven't been, at least not by those (e.g., the DPP) who could really do something about it.

There are reportedly some five million pages of evidence from the Coleman COE. Surely the DPP should have and could have been reading that evidence as it was unfolding!? What exactly is he (the DPP) investigating now? And who is he investigating? I am sure that most of us could give him a list!

It is high time that charges were brought ... and serious charges. Persons who were robbed in both debacles have died after being effectively bankrupted by the failures of these two institutions. No. Some justice is necessary now. 

And the tragedy is that although criticisms can always be levied against politicians in both the main political parties the truth is that it seems to be the fault of our non-political institutions that the debacles were allowed to happen in the first place and that nobody has been called to account in the second. 

And to be absolutely clear, I am criticising here the Central Bank, the Commissioner of Co-Operatives and the Director of Public Prosecutions.

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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