(By Ernesto Cooke) – Kay Bacchus Baptiste, Lawyer for Cornelius John, says she is dismayed by comments made by Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves on Tuesday, May 4th.
Cornelius John, a 62yro of Diamonds, alleges that Senator Ashelle Morgan threatened to shoot him if he calls her name following an incident which he said occurred on his property on April 13th.
On Tuesday, Gonsalves said he would not comment too much on a matter involving Senator Ashelle Morgan; however, he went on to state if Vincentians would believe allegations made by one person and said it is good to see somebody standing up in defence of women.
Baptiste said she is completely dismayed at the hypocrisy and recklessness of the Prime Minister.
“He began, of course, by saying he was not going to comment but ended up commenting extensively; he tried to bring in the political angle to say if the shoe were on the other side or NDP, it would be a different story, totally uncalled for because the NDP has not made a statement yet”.
Baptiste said Gonsalves is attempting to divide the nation again by going down the political line.
“It was uncalled for; It was irresponsible”, Bacchus -Baptiste stated.
Bacchus Baptiste said she was even more alarmed by Gonsalves clear condonation of what he says Ashelle Morgan and company did, that they went to defend a woman.
Within the legal profession, condonation is a defence argument sometimes made when an accuser has previously forgiven or chosen to ignore an act about which they are now legally complaining. In some legal jurisdictions, and for certain behaviours, it may prevent the accuser from prevailing.
Oxford dictionary also states that condonation is the act of forgiving, excusing or overlooking a wrong-doing.
“He is encouraging vigilantism, now let me just say there was absolutely no going to defend a woman, let me say that clearly because that did not arise, these people went there of their own accord while the man was in his house, there was no ongoing issue at all”, Bacchus Baptiste said.
Bacchus Baptiste stated that even if such was the case, the perpetrators have to find a defence, and that is what they did.
“But even if that was the case for the Prime Minister who should be encouraging law and order, the rule of law and proper administration of justice to go on radio and applauded by saying that, okay, it is violence against women, they were defending the rights of women, and telling the public they should shut their mouth, don’t have anything to say, be patient, don’t believe what one man said, and am putting this in, but believe what the senator is saying because she is important, she is somebody and if she said that they were defending a woman believe that. Virtually that is what he was saying”, Bacchus Baptiste said.
Bacchus Baptiste further stated that with all of this, the Prime Minister is saying he is not commenting.
“Again, he has put his foot in his mouth, getting into the matter and defending one of his own; it must be condemned. I don’t understand how he could be saying things like these”, Bacchus -Baptiste said.
Bacchus Baptiste says she has written to the Police Commissioner and The Director Of Public Prosecutions to have criminal Charges brought against Cornelius John perpetrators.