By Latoya Giles
Chief Justice Ian Chang yesterday afternoon ordered that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Shalimar Ali-Hack provide statements by a rape accuser and embattled Police Commissioner Henry Greene, and so show how she arrived at a decision to recommend that Greene be charged with the offence.
Both the Top Cop and the DPP were no-shows as the matter continued before Chief Justice Chang. Commissioner Greene had moved to the courts to block the DPP, Acting Commissioner Leroy Brumell and Assistant Commissioner of Law Enforcement Seelall Persaud, from instituting rape charges against him.
Chief Justice Chang had ruled that an Order or Rule Nisi of Certiorari be issued and directed to the DPP quashing her advice which was given on or about February 3, 2012, to the Acting Police Commissioner of Police Leroy Brumell and Assistant Commissioner of Law Enforcement, Seelall Persaud, to institute rape charges against Greene.
It was also ordered that Brumell and Persaud should be prohibited from charging Greene on the advice of the DPP, unless they show cause and show why the order should not be made absolute.
Greene’s lawyers, Rex Mc Kay SC, Neil Boston, Bettina Glasford and Maxwell Mc Kay are contending that the advice by the DPP was unreasonable, unfair, unlawful, unconstitutional, and null and void with no legal effect.
Yesterday the prosecution was granted leave to produce statements from both the commissioner and the victim. Lawyers for the commissioner had submitted the statements, and it was expected that the prosecution, through State Counsel Naresh Harnanan, would have been provided with them. More so this newspaper was told that the Chief Justice wants all of the statements so that an analysis could be made.
It was further noted that this would help to show how the DPP arrived at her decision to impose charges. The DPP in her response to the commissioner’s affidavit had said that the advice provided to the police was based on the evidence in the file, more particularly, the statements made by the victim, who is making the allegation against the commissioner, as well as statements by the Counselor and Child Protection Officer from Help and Shelter Carol Inniss-Baptiste, Dr Dalgleish Joseph and Dr Mc Rae.
The DPP said that she verily believes that Greene’s application should be stuck out forthwith since it has no merit, is premature and is, in, and of itself, unconstitutional, being contrary to article 187(4) of the Constitution. It was further stated that based on the statements submitted to the DPP by the police, it is the considered opinion of the DPP that there is sufficient evidence therein to institute a rape charge against the applicant.
According to the DPP, she has acted in accordance with her constitutional duties under Article 187 of the Constitution of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana Act, 1980, and therefore the advice to institute criminal proceedings against the commissioner is in accordance with judicial principles, and is rational, reasonable, fair, lawful and constitutional.
That in addition, the Constitution, sub-article 4 states that “in the exercise of powers conferred upon him by this article the DPP shall not be subjected to the direction or control of any other person or authority”. In other words, it is to be assumed that the DPP will act in accordance with judicial principles, unless there is evidence to the contrary; and the commissioner has not provided any evidence to the contrary.
In December last year, a 34-year-old woman shocked the nation with an allegation that the commissioner of police raped her in a city hotel.
The allegation was extensively publicized in the Kaieteur News on December 14, 2011.
Greene subsequently proceeded on leave to facilitate an investigation, which was conducted by a Jamaican team of detectives under the supervision of Crime Chief Seelall Persaud.
The Commissioner said that members of the Jamaican Police team together with Seelall Persaud, Crime Chief interviewed him.
He subsequently submitted a statement to them on January 13, last, denying that he had unlawful sexual intercourse with the woman.
The DPP later advised on or about February 3, 2012, that the Police charge Greene with the offence of rape.
According to Greene’s attorneys, the Commissioner should not be prosecuted for the offence since there is not sufficient evidence to provide a “realistic prospect of conviction”.
It was further stated that not every allegation of a criminal offence will automatically be prosecuted.
“The D.P.P. retains discretion to prosecute, which should be exercised according to judicial principles,” Greene’s lawyers argued.
Further, they contended that the Director of Public Prosecutions exercised her discretion unreasonably when she advised that the Applicant be charged for the offence of rape.
A number of women’s groups including the Women Lawyers Association have called for the resignation of the police commissioner.
The matter is returnable on February 27, where the DPP is expected to provide the court with her statements.
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