DPP drops charges against former CANU officer
Magistrate Hazel Octive-Hamilton yesterday discharged criminal charges against former Customs Anti Narcotics Unit (CANU) officer Shemika Tennant. Tennant, Morris Smith, Rodrick Peterkin, and Manniram Prashad were all charged with conspiracy to ship cocaine to the US.
The officers were charged in connection with a drug find in the United States where Dorothy Sears was charged for carrying some 24 kilograms of cocaine into the US. The drug was shipped from Guyana through the Cheddi Jagan International Airport.
It is alleged that on January 12, 2010, Persaud, Tennant, Peterkin and Smith conspired with Dorothy Sears and others to export 24.6 kilograms of cocaine to the United States.
Tennant, through her lawyer Nigel Hughes, had gone to the High Court and had filed a motion asking the Director of Public Prosecutions to show cause why charges were instituted against her. It was reported that it was Tennant who demanded that the suitcase be searched. However she was advised by a supervisor not to.
The court was informed yesterday that the DPP had withdrawn the charge. Tennant who spoke briefly to Kaieteur News, said that she feels relieved that the charges against her were discharged.
“I feel relieved…I was innocent from the beginning, but it was a personal vendetta against me.” She said that two years of her life was just put on hold and no one is going to compensate for that.
Hughes had stated that it was a clear case of severe high level perversity of the course of justice. The lawyer had always maintained that his clients were wrongfully charged. It was reported that on the day in question Tennant, being a CANU rank, was working the baggage scanner when she intercepted a pink suitcase.
Hughes said his client pulled off the suitcase and was about to search it when her supervisor instructed her to let the bag go through without a search. Nevertheless, Hughes said, his client proceeded to call the passenger off the flight when once again she was instructed to leave the passenger alone since the owner of the suitcase was a relative of his (Tennant’s supervisor).
According to Hughes, his client then, in an attempt to save herself, made an entry to this effect in a log book. He said it was later discovered that the said pink suitcase was found with 24.6 kilogrammes of cocaine and one Dorothy Sears was arrested and charged in the US.
He went on to state that Tennant has given a statement to this effect to the police while her supervisor also give a statement supporting what Tennant said. Efforts yesterday to contact the DPP office proved futile.