A Partnership for National Unity’s (APNU) Shadow Minister of Finance, Carl Greenidge believes that Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Shalimar Ali-Hack ruling on the Attorney General Anil Nandlall phone threats issue borders on hypocrisy.
Greenidge reminded that the Government passed legislation which allows people to be prosecuted on the basis of taped conversations. He noted that none of the points offered by the DPP for her ruling on Nandlall had stopped her from advising on the case involving Major Bruce Monroe and his wife Carol Ann, who, along with GDF officer Wharton, were arrested on December 23, 2010 for allegedly conspiring with unknown parties to overthrow the Guyana Government.
They were charged with treason, a crime punishable by death. They were allegedly caught in a sting operation where an undercover civilian reportedly taped conversations of them plotting to wage war in Guyana.
The politician highlighted that Monroe and company were not accused of directly speaking to the Guyanese public or the PPP Government but rather the content of their conversation and what it meant for the lives of other citizens.
Similarly, Greenidge said that with the Nandlall case , the Minister of Legal Affairs was taped admitting to a variety of things, some of which were illegal and included having knowledge of a plot to violently attack the staff at Kaieteur News.
“He didn’t say it directly to Glenn Lall, but to a staff member who as far as I understand, also made a report to the police about the said statements. That very DPP advised the Police to charge others for similar matters and now she is saying that there is no evidence? I highly disagree with her,” the APNU Parliamentarian added.
Leader of the Alliance For Change (AFC), Khemraj Ramjattan had also said that there is enough incriminating evidence to charge Nandlall under the Terrorist Act and urged the DPP to review the evidence and her decision.
Greenidge agreed with Ramjattan’s stance on the matter and added that the legislation on terrorism allows the Government to use taped information to prosecute.
“It is ironic that under the Anti Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Bill, the AG should be named as the official who is charged with identifying the potential criminals on the basis of information and threats/actions which he himself has recently carried out,” the financial point man asserted.
He commented too that in relation to the tape itself, Nandlall has not denied that it is his voice but merely that is has been manipulated, “whatever that means.”
Greenidge then made reference to comments by a judge of the United Kingdom in response to concerns about the use of taped evidence.
“Lord Nolan, who, while delivering the judgment in the Sultan Khan case in 1996 said: “it would be a strange reflection on our law if a man who admitted his participation in the illegal importation of a large quantity of heroin should have his conviction set aside on the ground that his privacy had been invaded.” Greenidge commented that it is appalling, to say the least, that this is exactly what the PPP Government is claiming and the DPP by extension.
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, revealed that she advised that no charges be laid against Nandlall.
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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