Government rejects UK demands over capital punishment

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A condition set by the United Kingdom government regarding a request it has received for its assistance with a local homicide investigation has been firmly rejected by the Antigua and Barbuda government.

Antigua and Barbuda approached the UK’s Scotland Yard for assistance with investigations into the 10th July abduction and shooting death of former Customs Department officer, Nigel Christian.

The UK has since responded however, it has insisted it will only accede to the request if the government gives the commitment that anyone found guilty of murder will not face the death penalty.

Foreign Affairs Minister, E.P Chet Greene, has since retorted that capital punishment falls under the laws of Antigua and Barbuda and is a matter to be determined by the judiciary, not the executive arm of government.

“Until the people of Antigua and Barbuda decide in a referendum that they no longer wish to have capital punishment as part of the laws of the country, it is my view that the issue is one that should be left up to the courts to decide,” Greene told Pointe Xpress.

The Foreign Affairs minister continued that if the government were to give that commitment it would expose the government to a flood-gate of criticism by many Antiguans and Barbudans who may interpret the move as an attempt by the executive
to interfere with an aspect of governance that is reserved for the judiciary.

“There are those who would see this as ‘proof’ that the courts are being manipulated by the government.

Even those who oppose the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) would also jump on
the bandwagon,” he noted.

Despite the UK government’s reluctance to offer assistance, the Christian investigation benefited from assistance provided by the USA’s Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)

22 COMMENTS

  1. The government of the day is right. Capital punishment is the law of the land and we are a free and independent nation. Hopefully we will receive some serious help from the FBI, but we should also call upon our friends from China. They have experience I these things, plus both China and the US are still executing killers. Cuba might also be helpful, as they have much experience in investigation.

  2. The authorities should agree and who/whomever is responsible for this crime be striped naked, tied to a post in ARG and have ALL immediate family members beat the heck out of with a baseball bat to any part of the body for a period of ten years on a daily basis, If they survive then spend the rest of their lives in prison. We fulfill our part of the agreement by NOT administering capital punishment, Brazen and wicked set ah people!

    • Who/whoever is guilty of this crime simply needs to be hung by the neck until dead. The law of the land must be enforced. The Brits have no say in this.

  3. They do not want to use no damn capital punishment…….The government of this country corrupt and evil….They see the Antiguan people as a flock of illiterates who don’t know any better……..

  4. So are we really surprised by this? Or did we forget that in order for that British cop to be extradite we had to make him live up large at the old US base instead of being in 1735 where he blongs.

    • Is that sicko “British cop” still here? The British have been telling us what to do in criminal matters long enough. It’s time to move that sick puppy to 1735, where he can get a taste of Antiguan hospitality (for people like him). Somebody should warn him not to bend over if he drops his soap in the shower. Enough is enough. The British don’t run this country. Colonialism finished.

      • We all celebrate independence every year like a bunch of fools. The queen face on our money…We have a governor general who represents the queen…..We can’t do as we want because we are a “third world country” and we need to have good relations with big brothers USA and especially England

  5. I was of the opinion that it was up to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to decide whether or not to seek the death penalty, even though capital punishment is still on our books. If I am correct, and I strongly believe that I am, then why is the Executive arm of government making this decision. Gaston and his pack like to micro manage too much. Let the DPP do his work. This should not be a political football.

    And by the way is seeking the death penalty more important than solving this henious crime? Is it not of upmost importance to ascertain who committed this act, and the reason(s) why they murdered this upstanding young man? Or is it that we want it swept under the carpet, as certain well connected citizens may be implicated? Inquiring minds wish to know!

    • Justice for Antiguans and Barbudans you are absolutely correct and it shows how misguided and flawed the convoluted statement by Foreign Affairs Minister Greene was. The request for the death penalty in a matter is the decision of the DPP and not for any member of the Executive arm of government. The public is beginning to feel that the government is not very keen in having the heinous Nigel Christian murder solved. I sincerely hope this is not the case. No stone should be left unturned to solve this murder.

      • You sound so stupid it is not funny. Can you for once leave your hatred behind and give sound legal opinion. Everything that the Minister said is exactly correct. It is not the executive to make the decision. And the executive cannot tell the DPP not to seek the death penalty. And to remove the death penalty off the books needs a referendum. Are you as a lawyer not familiar with that. What you want them to say. We have spoken to the DPP and he has agreed to not seek the death penalty? And what about the family. Are they to agree that the whoever committed this heinous crime would not be put to death. And even if the DPP go for the death penalty is it not the Judge that determines the punishment when one is found guilty. At no point can the executive give anyone an undertaking not to seek the death penalty. And to say they are not interested in getting this solve, why then are they pursuing with the FBI on this. FBI doesn’t have these conditions. If a terrorist is caught in England for having killed many in the USA I want to see England telling the USA that they will not extradite him to the USA if he may face the death penalty. They can only bully these small Islands.

        • From The Sideline you need to reread you comments. I would not say that you are stupid but I will say that you are confused. So if you have spoken to the DPP and he has agreed not to seek the death penalty, what then is the problem with Scotland Yard. Isn’t that the undertaking that Scotland Yard needed. You do not have to tell me about the Separation of Powers since I can give you a lecture on that issue. Keep finding nonsensical excuses for the ineptitude and maladministration of your infallible (in your estimation) government.

  6. Hope it won’t just be another unsolved mystery.

    This is a minor concession to make and was expected as standard, so why even ask them when you very well know this is a condition for their help.

    Why give us the people false hope?

    • Conspiracy Theory
      Government: Let’s ask Scotland Yard for help as the people requesting and
      when they start to tell us bout no death penalty etc we shall
      kick up about it like we actually wan’t to do what we want. So
      after that the people as usual will foolishly believe we want
      justice and we shall handle this ourselves. (Evil Laugh)

  7. Anon the 1st sometimes I wonder if you are confused. What is the good question asked by Alex? In the Mullanys murder at Cocos (the British married couple) the position of Scotland Yard was the same, that is to say, they would not grant any assistance in a murder investigation unless an undertaking is given that the defendant would not be executed if found guilty. It is the same undertaking that the DPP would have to give in the Nigel Christian murder investigation before Scotland Yard would give assistance. This is consistently the position of the British Government because they do not believe in the death penalty. They are not being hypocritical. If they come and the defendant or defendants are found guilty and would escape the dealt penalty because of the undertaking given, I would not be happy since I think the circumstances of the killing deserve the death penalty. Similarly, the two youths that were recently murdered in Guyana for stealing coconuts I believe also deserve the death penalty. I hope you clearly comprehend what I am saying given your power of comprehension.

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