Jul 27, 2015 News
– should allow Police and DPP to do its job
As the debate swirls around what action should taken regarding the shocking confessions of self-confessed hit man Sean Hinds, former People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) stalwart Ralph Ramkarran has slammed the Government ‘s interference on whether Hinds should be subjected to amnesty.
Alluding to recent pronouncements from Minister of State Joseph Harmon, who had rejected suggestions that Hinds should be provided with amnesty for his information, Ramkarran in his weekly blog made it pellucid that the Minister had no business rejecting amnesty for the self confessed hit man.
Hinds first re-emerged into prominence when, in an explosive sit down with another media outlet, he made a string of confessions ranging from admitting to purchasing weapons from the police for businessmen to being contracted to kill political activist and journalist Ronald Waddell.
Admitting to being a part of the death squad headed by the notorious Axel Williams, which had reigned in the early 2000s, Hinds came out of the woodwork after fears that he would be pinned to the murder of political activist Courtney Crum-Ewing who was shot dead as he actively campaigned for the APNU+AFC in the Diamond Housing Scheme.
According to Ramkarran, in light of what Hinds had to offer, justice is likely to follow the truth of Hinds’ pronouncements.
Ramkarran went on to note that the pursuit of this justice was “a matter for professionals with an array of tools, including police, prosecutors, defense counsels, judge and juries who are required to work without Government interference.”
“Hinds did not ask the Government for amnesty, but the Government rejected it even before a request is made,” Ramkarran, a former Speaker of the National Assembly, said.
“The rejection of amnesty in this way constitutes government interference in the process of criminal investigation, in the prosecutorial process and in the pursuit of justice because it sends a message to the concerned agencies which need to work without oppressive messages of this kind.”
Ramkarran, who is also a political veteran and a noted legal mind, went on to note the primary judicial instrument applicable to Hinds is the Criminal Procedure (Plea Bargaining and Plea Agreement) Act. According to him, the Act, passed by the National Assembly in 2008, “facilitates the Director of Public Prosecutions to negotiate deals with criminals by agreeing to lighter than normal sentences for information and evidence against other criminals.”
He also noted that the police do the job but DPP had the technical oversight of the investigation. The DPP, he said, has nevertheless called on the Police to make use of the provisions of the Act.
Ramkarran went on to warn that before the legislation had been passed in the Assembly, and even after, many criminals evaded prosecution due to the failure of the police to “creatively” implement plea bargaining.
“To allow for this (implementation of the plea bargain) to happen and to put more criminals behind bars, the Government needs to be cautious and not shoot from the hip, or lip, at every opportunity, or news cycle,” Ramkarran pronounced.
Ramkarran did not spare Hinds either, noting that, “in the relating of events of that era, he cleverly ensures that the confessions that he makes stop short of implicating him in any criminal activity save that his admission that he was contracted to kill Ronald Waddell may point to involvement in a conspiracy to commit a crime.” However, Ramkarran observed that that admission was “a matter for the police.”
Ramkarran also noted that Hinds “emerged against a background of seething political convulsions, which started immediately after the 1992 General Elections, subsided, resumed after the 1997 General Elections, subsided, and then resumed again after the 2001 General Elections.”
He went on to state that, “into this sustained cauldron of political unrest directed against the PPP, was injected the criminal terrorism by the Mash Day 2002 jailbreak gang of five dangerous criminals who set up residence in Buxton. They were succeeded by the Fineman gang which killed until 2008. It is this period of great fear in the country and the marked impotence of the security forces that Sean Hinds and his group emerged.”
“The truth of these events from the perspective of the death squad is available from Sean Hinds and other members of the death squad,” Ramkarran said.
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