Cornelius John Saga: Man Of Mystery Still Elusive As Investigations Near Complete

Cornelius John Saga: Man Of Mystery Still Elusive As Investigations Near Complete

Mystery Man, Key To John’s Justice

Commissioner Says Investigations Almost Over

Lawyer Says The Law Is On Trial

(By Ernesto Cooke) (Kingstown) – The Man of Mystery, whose identity is now vital to Cornelius John‘s Justice, remains elusive to the public. 

To date, the RSVGPF has not disclosed the name of the third person involved in what appears to have been a criminal enterprise of a joint nature.

Cornelius John was shot on his property at Diamond on April 13th by persons he identified as uninvited gangsters. 

The incident left Mr. John nursing gunshot injuries, and at press time, Mr. John still does not have full use of his left leg.

Amongst the three whom John referred to as thugs is Senator Ashelle Morgan, who he publicly identified as the one who allegedly threatened to shoot him if he called her name.

Morgan still holds the post of Deputy Speaker in the House Of Assembly and Government Senator despite an ongoing investigation and public outcry. 

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves in May urged Vincentians to keep their mouths shut, wait, and not to believe some of the most outlandish things they have heard about the Senator.

Commissioner Says Shooting Incident Investigations Almost Over

Commissioner of Police Colin John says the investigations into the shooting of sixty-two-year-old Cornelius John of Diamond is almost over.

“The matter is being investigated. I know that I have had several consultations with the office of the DPP and with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) herself. She had given certain directives. Those directives were followed, and the file returned to her,” the police commissioner said while on an interactive program on BOOM FM on Wednesday.

John said the DPP “had also given further directives after, that these things must be done.” 

Asked how much longer the investigation was expected to continue, John replied: “It is close to the end, in my estimation.

Asked if the public would be informed of the outcome on completion of the investigations, John said the public most certainly would be informed either by him or the DPP. He noted that the DPP is the person who has the authority to decide whether to prosecute or discontinue a case.

“The office of the Commissioner of Police, the office of the DPP, we have to ensure that justice is not only done, but it is also seen to be done. So, I am not going to get into any media frenzy and rush through an investigation because one media house or one social media platform is asking for this thing to be done within the timeline they think should be done. The investigations are being conducted, and we are trying as far as possible to ensure the investigations are thorough,” the Commissioner of Police said.

Asked if a suspect in a shooting incident is “normally picked up by the police,” the police commissioner said, “not in every case. It depends on the circumstances.”

Asked what are the circumstances in which police would pick up a suspect involved in gun violence or violent crime, the police commissioner replied: “Just about two weeks ago, a businessman reported that someone – a licensed firearm holder – came on to his property, and he shot him. That person wasn’t arrested.

There are instances where persons would use a firearm, and in the view of the police or in the opinion of the investigator, it was justifiable. So, based on the evidence, that would determine the case.”

Asked if the firearm was licensed, the police commissioner replied: “Well, based on the information we have, the firearm was a licensed firearm.”

Asked if the firearm was licensed to the person who allegedly used it in the shooting incident, the police commissioner replied: “I know the answer to that question, but these are issues that may be borne out in court, and I would choose not to venture on that premises right now.”

Lawyer Says The Law Is On Trial

Bacchus Baptiste, the lawyer for Cornelius John, in a press conference on May 21st, said, “St Vincent is a country of laws, the rule of law is on trial, the administration of justice demands that these assailants be detained, investigated, and some charges be brought against them.”

“My client is hurting, this is five weeks, and not one individual has been detained in my client’s matter; he is crying out for justice,” Bacchus Baptiste said.

Bacchus Baptiste during the press conference said, she is still waiting to know who is the third person to enter her client’s yard on April 13, when he was shot in the leg.

I have information as to who it might be, but there is no reason for the commissioner of police to be hiding the name of this person, even for the safety and security of Vincentians.

“I ask myself whether it is because he (the third person) appeared to have decided to withdraw from the common design that they came there for and that he would be a good witness to support my client’s case.”

“Is that why they are hiding his name”?

Assistant DPP Karim Nelson, Senator Ashelle Morgan are persons of interest in the ongoing investigation.

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Comments (1)

  1. Please permit me to make two points on the shooting of Cornelius John

    The Police could have arrested Morgan on the basis of Cornelius John’s statement alone. John was very explicit in his identification of two of the suspects including Morgan. The Judges Rules clearly states, a Police Officer may arrest anyone whom he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to have committed and arrestable offense.

    You have two persons who were named as accomplices to the shooting by the victim. One of whom the victim have known for a very long time. There are two clear offences that they could be arrested for in the first instance i.e. Aiding and Abetting to Commit Wounding and Conspiracy to Commit Wounding.

    These persons should have been treated as suspects. caution statements or interviews recorded, swab for GSR then granted bail. A robust forensic strategy should have been executed on these suspects. The police may have lost the opportunity to have recovered vital evidence that may prove the offence or offences beyond a reasonable doubt

    Regrettably, this is the usual way the Police do business in SVG unless drugs is involved. That’s why so many cases are loss. Everyone sits at the station waiting for a transport to come from another station to assist. After twenty Years of leaving the Police Force, the Minister of National Security has failed to properly resourced the police and successive Commissioner Police have failed to properly manage and transform the Police Force to meet today’s challenges. No one takes advice. It’s starts from the Minister of National Security down. Total waste of public funds.

    My second point is, What qualifies one to become a license firearm holder. It appears that there are many incidents in SVG committed by license firearms holders. Unfortunately, I am not hearing of any license being cancelled and firearms being withdrawn or charges being filed against these persons. Just because you have a license firearm doesn’t mean you can use it recklessly.

    There must be very strict accountable framework governing licensed firearms. i.e. license must be kept up to date or the firearm would be withdrawn, every discharge or incident should be dealt with as a crime unless otherwise determined by a police investigation; ammunition must be properly accounted for and charges must be bought against those who recklessly or negligently discharge their firearms.

    There are some very good, descent and hard working Officers in the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force but they never get to occupy key positions to be able to transform the Police Force. Others are a complete waste of tax payers money. Police reform is urgently needed in SVG.