I am aware that there are persons who have sought in the past and are presently, for their own selfish and oblique motives, seeking to sully my character since I became the Director of Public Prosecutions by surreptitiously making false and spurious allegations and surmises to have me removed. This, I accept as being the common lot of all senior public officers.
It has been drawn to my attention that a particular text or WhatsApp message has made its way to social media and was the subject of a recent press release published on the 1st October, 2020 to media houses. I was prepared to endure and ignore the former due to its unfounded and spurious nature.
However, the publication of the press release, I believe demands a response. Firstly, the particular text or WhatsApp message as it relates to allegations made or insinuated against me are unfounded, false and defamatory. In this regard, I consider it only fair that the author(s) be put to strict proof to provide the necessary evidence to support the said allegation.
Regarding the IHI matter, in May 2013 the police submitted the file for my consideration and advice as per normal. The IHI investigation was assisted and guided by notable attorney Mr. Sanjeev Datadin, from Guyana who was also sworn in as special constable. This investigation gained national attention even before my tenure, as it concerned very senior former and current government ministers and a very senior diplomat. There were many cries and counter cries of the investigation being a politically inspired witch hunt and a campaign for a day of reckoning for past wrongdoers.
After carefully reviewing the file and the evidence presented, I gave the police my opinion on the matter which consisted of over 10 pages. I highlighted the shortcomings and serious gaps in the evidence. Most importantly at the very end I advised the police that the decision to lay charges against the persons who were the focus of their investigation was for them to make. This is in keeping with the later 2014 Privy Council ruling which referenced the Guide for Prosecutors in Antigua and Barbuda:
“It will be recognized that the DPP remains solely responsible for the taking of all prosecutorial decisions and the police remains solely responsible for the conduct of all investigations.”
Absolutely at no time did I either halt the investigation or instruct the police not to continue with it.
The IHI investigation concerned a loan agreement dating back to the 5th March, 1985 between the Government of Antigua and Barbuda and a Japanese company IHI. Due to its notoriety, I sent copies of my opinion on the 4th November, 2013 to the then Honorable Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance, the Attorney General, the Minister of Justice and Public Safety and other senior members of the Cabinet. I did this, so that my opinion was open to transparency, criticism and examination. Despite that, to this day no one has ever challenged or questioned my opinion, notably, the special constable and the then Cabinet which comprised of at least five (5) senior and prominent attorneys.
It is therefore illogical that anyone including the Member of Parliament (MP) named in the text or WhatsApp message could have corruptly paid me to protect him in the IHI investigation when I have NEVER instructed or informed the police not to lay any charges or not to continue with the investigation. As a matter of fact, my instructions and advice to the police were to the contrary and to the detriment of all those concerned which was to go ahead with the charges if they so desired. In fact, my opinion, which catalogued the gaps and shortcomings in the investigation, provided a platform for them to make the necessary changes to strengthen the case, if possible.
I have never spoken to, been offered or accepted ANY benefits whether monetary or otherwise from the said MP or any agent on his behalf to protect him from any charge or prosecution in any matter. I hereby categorically refute and deny the allegations made against me.
For the past fifteen (15) years I have carried out the functions of the Director of Public Prosecutions with the utmost integrity, respect for the law and the highest traditions of the legal profession.
In the execution of my duties, I follow what grounds all criminal prosecutions, that is, the nature and the state of the evidence and I have always executed my duties without fear or favour.
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