Apr 11, 2015 News
The recently formed coalition, A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance for Change has strongly
condemned the recommendation of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) that the son of Prime Minister, Samuel Hinds be retried on a domestic violence charge, even though he has already been found guilty.
In fact, the party claims that it would be an understatement to say that this new development flies in the face of justice and smacks of governmental interference.
The Coalition said that it recently learnt of the DPP’s recommendation that newly appointed Magistrate Annette Singh conducts a new trial for the PM’s son, who has already been tried and found guilty on a wounding charge.
The advice was returned from the DPP Chambers on Wednesday as the matter was once again called in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.
Hinds, 34, had already been found guilty by former Magistrate Geeta Chandan-Edmond in relation to a wounding charge, but the case was stalled since the Magistrate received marching orders from the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) the very day she was set to sentence him.
On the directive of the DPP, Police Prosecutor Corporal Renatta Bentham said that according to law, a final adjudication means a verdict plus a sentence. The DPP held that since the former Magistrate had only returned a verdict and did not announce a sentence, it was not a final adjudication.
The court had heard that the new presiding Magistrate may not sentence the defendant based on a trial conducted by another Magistrate. The DPP found that a new trial was befitting in the circumstance.
On Wednesday, the coalition said that it noted the alarming turn of events in the court case. It reminded that Hinds Jr. was accused, tried and found guilty of the crime of battery against his teenaged sister-in-law while threatening her with a gun.
“It is an understatement to say that this new development flies in the face of justice and smacks of governmental interference,” the coalition said.
“Added to our outrage, is the fact that Magistrate Geeta Chandan-Edmond who had tried the case in 2014 and found Sam(uel) Hinds Jr. guilty of the crime, was dismissed on the same day that she was scheduled to hand down her sentence.”
The coalition said that the intervention of the DPP at this time to suggest that Hinds be re-tried obviously seeks to prejudice the outcome of the case.
“This man perpetrated a heinous act of physical violence against a young lady that was fuelled by uncontrolled rage. He was found guilty of the crime and must face the consequences. Irrespective of his parental lineage, the constitution of Guyana recognizes every citizen as being equal and subject to the same levels of benefits and punishment,” APNU+AFC said.
The party stressed that domestic and other types of violence perpetrated against women in particular is currently the hot button topic in this society, and Guyanese people are rightfully outraged at the steadily increasing incidents of domestic violence and crimes against the person.
“The DPP’s unhelpful intervention could only serve to further enrage the people who are already on the picket line demanding changes to the law enforcement and judicial systems, which do not provide sufficient deterrents to the criminals who violate our women.”
APNU+AFC said it forthrightly condemns the despicable acts of violence that Hinds Jr. perpetrated against the teenager, “and we call upon all fair and right-thinking Guyanese, particularly those in the legal profession, to join the already loud voices protesting against inhumane acts of violence and the unequal sentences handed down.”
The APNU+AFC reminded that the Judiciary is the third arm of the state. They stated that the Judiciary is constitutionally as separate and independent as the legislative and executive arms of state.
Based on the advice of the DPP, Magistrate Annette Singh now has to decide whether she will sentence Hinds Jnr or conduct a new trial.
But last month, Magistrate Singh said that since Hinds had previously been found guilty, a retrial will be to overturn or appeal the guilty verdict, which she has no authority to do.
Singh had in fact, expressed readiness to go ahead and sentence the 34-year-old on the wounding charge. At the last hearing, Hinds’s Attorney, Peter Hugh had explained that his client had pleaded and had already been found guilty, and to have him tried twice for the same offence would be to offend the rule of autrefois convict.
He said that he does not agree with the direction the Prosecution is taking, as his client ought not to be tried twice for the same offence under the principle of double jeopardy.
The case will be called again on April 17 for the Magistrate to decide whether she would sentence Hinds or conduct a new trial.
Pres. Ali begging for loans!!
Feb 04, 2023SportsMax – After nearly two weeks of preparation in Bulawayo, West Indies interim head coach is eagerly awaiting the first ball of the series this morning. According to Andre Coley, the...
By Sir Ronald Sanders (The writer is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States of America and the Organization... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]