KN Jun 25, 2016
A very well known and respected lawyer came up to me and said, “I want you to do a column for me as a special request. My obvious response was one of skepticism. No two persons think identically about the tides of life. If I do a column based on what he told me I may have philosophical objections to some of the things he wants to be included that will go under my name. I have done countless columns based on evidential material people gave me. But they all contained my perspectives, and when they did not, the materials included were factually verifiable
I listened to him and I was persuaded. I am not a lawyer, but I could understand laws and recognize the weak points and strong validities in legal polemics. I never accepted Justice Ian Chang’s ruling that Carol Sooba could have continued in office even though her appointment by the Minister of Local Government was legally invalid. I went and I did my research and spoke to lawyers. After that, I did about four columns rejecting Justice Chang’s decision.
This lawyer told me that if the police could have charged Bruce Munroe for treason, a woman on Facebook for threatening President Granger, and a man on Facebook for boasting to harm Opposition Leader Jagdeo, then, Anil Nandlall should be charged. The fault in the Nandlall matter, he says, is because of the intransigence of the DPP. I listened to this gentleman, promised to do my research and based on what I found, agreed to do this column that you are now reading.
This attorney-at-law is right. Under the circumstances which Bruce Munroe was charged, then the Nandlall tape seems an open and shut case. Bruce Munroe, as we say in local lingo, was mouthing off about his disgust with the PPP Government. A friend of Munroe, Quincy Critchlow, secretly taped Munroe. Based on what Critchlow did, Munroe, his wife and his friend were charged for treason. The charge was determined by Sydney James, who now heads SOCU.
I know the Munroes. I have followed their trial in the courts. I attended some of the hearings, and I picketed for them. There was no question in my mind that the three persons should not have been charged, but no one has since asked Sydney James about his involvement. About four months ago, I began researching the police attitude in this case, but so many other things got in the way. I intend to resume my research. I hope James speaks to me.
The lawyer is on very strong grounds. Critchlow secretly taped Munroe. In the Nandlall situation, a tape is there. Could the DPP tell the Guyanese people what is the clear, legal difference in the Critchlow tape and the Nandlall tape? Of course there are some technical differences. Nandlall was distinctly heard on the tape. The voice delivery was discernible. In the Critchlow tape, you couldn’t clearly hear ninety-nine percent of the recording; that was the point that the case hung on. It was this fact that resulted in the acquittal of the three.
The lawyer told me that there is compelling reason to charge Nandlall, once the DPP agreed to prosecute the woman on her Facebook page that said she would harm the President, and the gentleman from Berbice who used his Facebook page to indicate that he intended to harm Mr. Jagdeo. The attorney made the point that if the DPP can agree to charge these Facebook users, then she has to explain why she has not pursued Anil Nandlall. He thinks she should be made to explain her attitude on the Nandlall tape. Let me repeat; I am not a lawyer but I can interpret legal papers and I am convinced that there are strong grounds for re-visiting the Nandlall tape
The DPP, of course, chooses what issues to go public with and which ones to ignore. She has not made any public statement with recent memory on the Nandlall tape. My opinion is that she will not. She had a superabundance of time to issue a public statement and she chose not to. The DPP is one of the few persons that have not come under the radar of the Coalition Government. I guess it is because she holds the status of a puisne judge and cannot be removed. But it would be naïve for anyone to think that she has not been a widely controversial figure. Of course she was the recipient of a Pradoville 2 house lot. I have some unpleasant memories of some of her decisions. More on that later.