Prominent local economist Dr. Clive Thomas disagrees with the recent ruling by Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Shalimar Ali-Hack, that there is no evidence to charge Attorney General Anil Nandlall over threats he allegedly made during a telephone conversation with Kaieteur News (KN) reporter, Leonard Gildarie.
KN’s Publisher, Glenn Lall, had filed a complaint with the police, alleging that Nandlall threatened the safety of his employees during the conversation, as he had mentioned an imminent attack on the newspaper’s main office on Saffon Street, if the company continued with its exposure of government corruption.
But after over a month of delays, the DPP in a statement to the Press finally made known her decision on the case where she advised that no charges be laid against Nandlall.
Her decision on the matter however, has attracted much criticism from several quarters. Dr. Thomas said yesterday that he does not agree with the DPP’s decision. He went further, to state that she has failed in fulfilling her responsibilities to her country.
Passionate about the matter, the economist said that he is currently reviewing other alternatives to get another judicial review on the matter because he is of the firm conviction that the recorded conversation involving Nandlall is filled with gross violations.
The retired University of Guyana Professor believes that the DPP’s decision on the Nandlall case represents a step backward for the country. He remarked that in another state where democratic principles are taken seriously, “there would have been stern actions taken against the Minister of Legal Affairs for his statements.”
“Kaieteur News has been the victim of state terrorism and to prove this, you had the horrible incident when there was the killing of employees in 2006 and now there are similar threats against the lives of those employed at the national newspaper and those threats should not be taken lightly.
“I say that all these things are state terrorism because they seek to silence the newspaper so that it would not speak out against corruption. The decision by the DPP on the case even reflects on the state of our judicial system but I am currently trying to get the members of the Working People’s Alliance to take the matter to the Ombudsman. I have advised in that regard,” Dr. Thomas expressed.
He reminded that the state is now operating as a “state for itself” meaning that it is primarily geared to function as an instrument for accumulating wealth and treasure for those who run it.
The economist also recalled comments he made on what he termed “the Nandlall” syndrome”.
“Beyond its self-focused vanity, crassness, immortality, indecency, and vulgarity, the taped conversation reveals the AG (of all the political state officials and members of the PPP/C Executive) embracing language, which unmistakably indicates the likelihood of terroristic acts against persons and private businesses with the political objective of curtailing criticisms of the ruling party.”
Last week in her statement to the media, the DPP referred to the recorded conversation between “personal friends” Gildarie and Nandlall as private. Ali-Hack said that based on the evidence contained in the police file, the conversation was “not between the Attorney General…and Mr. Glenn Lall.”
She explained that the offence created in Section 141(a) Chapter 8:02 is in relation to the speaker using threatening language with intent to provoke anyone else to commit a breach of the peace, that is, provoking another person to do so.
According to the DPP, the threatening language must be such as is likely to provoke a breach of the peace by anyone else that is the person to whom the threat is directed.
“In these circumstances, the communication to Mr. Gildarie does not provide an evidential basis which can support the institution of criminal proceedings,” she advised.
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