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Like all conscientious Guyanese I’ve been observing the many court cases and the rulings that emanated from them. Consequently, I’ve paid special attention to the cases involving Messrs. Ashni Singh and Winston Brassington, both charged in relation to the sale of several plots of state lands
Sir, let me categorically state that I am shocked beyond measures to learn about the withdrawal of these charges based on a prima facie case having been upheld by the High Court. I am no legal eagle but I do not have to be one in establishing a conclusion that these two gentlemen should have been required to prove their innocence in a court of law. It is indeed unfortunate that the prosecutorial arm has decided to abort the case after their attorneys had argued that the charges were politically motivated, frivolous and had no merit.
Sir, I find that the withdrawal of such serious charges is unacceptable and has established a dangerous precedent. Further, it gives the impression that a selected section of the society is immune from prosecution.
May I point out that the principle of rule of law clearly establishes that “every man, irrespective of rank or status, is subject to the supreme laws of the land and is amenable to the jurisdiction of the ordinary tribunal.” Further, any action taken by government under this principle must have a legal foundation. Hence, it is prudent that the prosecutorial arm inform Guyanese on the basis of such a withdrawal.
It must be noted also, that the principle of the rule of law is fundamental to peace, security, political stability, economic and social progress and the protection of rights and freedoms. As such, it is a serious issue and should not be taken lightly.
It is unfortunate that Guyana is deeply divided along racial lines and perhaps, this anomaly has shaped the prosecution’s attitude towards a particular ethnic group. Over the past four months we have witnessed the insatiable appetite of the police to prosecute members of the specified ethnic group, evident by the commonality of ethnicity of scores of GECOM employees, politicians, and civil servants that are being harassed and charged by the police. One is forced to draw the conclusion that the actions of the police are influenced by the executive.
It is my adamant view that the government is not conforming to the principles of good governance forcing me to conclude that there seems to be undue influence by the executive arm of government over prosecutorial bodies. This should cease forthwith!