NDP Statement On Allegations Against Senator And Assistant DPP

STATEMENT CONCERNING THE ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF DEPUTY SPEAKER AND ASSISTANT DPP IN THE SHOOTING OF MR CORNELIUS JOHN

 

The NDP, like most people in the country, is extremely concerned about the profoundly disturbing matter of the shooting and beating of a man just over three weeks ago and the involvement of a Senator and a senior public official and a third person as alleged assailants.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a country of laws.  We believe in the Rule of Law which guarantees the equality of all citizens before the law. The NDP believes in the transparent and fair administration of justice and abhor the abuse or misuse of power.

With respect to the alleged brutal attack by Senator and Deputy Speaker Ms. Ashelle Morgan, Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Mr. Karim Nelson, and another male person upon Mr. Cornelius John, a senior citizen, on the night of 13th April 2021 while he was in the sanctity of his home, we call on Commissioner of Police Mr. Colin John and Director of Public Prosecutions, Ms Sejilla McDowall to conduct an impartial, transparent investigation and to bring charges against the alleged perpetrators of this attack based on the evidence.  If, as it is alleged, Mr.  Cornelius John committed any offence, he too should be investigated and charged as warranted.

Further, we condemn the recent extensive comments on the matter by Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves on NBC radio on 4th May, 2021 as being inappropriate and ill-advised. His attempt to excuse the inaction so far of the Commissioner of Police by saying “partisan politics is a hell of a thing…  Partisan politics, if the shoe was on the other foot and it was an NDP woman and an NDP parliamentarian or high party member who had gotten involved in this, you know how the story was going to spin? ” has absolutely no merit. It is and has always been the position of the NDP that the criminal justice system must be impartial and treat everyone equally.

Has Prime Minister Gonsalves forgotten the unwanted and malicious re-arrest of then, Senator Vynette Frederick, by a party of male police officers immediately after the case brought against her had been dismissed by the court?  Further, he must also remember the assault and arrest of NDP candidate Mr. Ben Exeter for carrying his licensed firearm concealed in his waist. For Prime Minister Gonsalves to openly excuse the alleged attack by Ms. Ashelle Morgan and company as a woman defending a woman encourages vigilante actions even as this declared justification of defending a woman appears unsubstantiated.

This serious matter must not be made a political issue.  The alleged assailants must be brought to justice. It cannot be the proper functioning of the criminal justice system, especially the police, that three weeks after the shooting no one has been detained and no one has been charged.  The reported comments by Commissioner of Police Mr. Colin John, in the Searchlight newspaper about cross complaints being made implies, that charges are forthcoming. Is there a credible reason for delay?

Ms. Ashelle Morgan is the Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly.  The NDP calls on her to step down or be suspended from that position pending the outcome of the matter.

Finally, St. Vincent and the Grenadines boasts of a seat on the United Nations Security Council.  Surely, we must be seen to be safeguarding the security and rights of every person in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and to be upholding the rule of law. As we have stated, no one is above the law.

Article By News784

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Comments (1)

  1. Absolutely!
    No one is above the law. This country needs to hear the outcome of the current investigation.