Martin George: Discontinuation of Piarco matter a slap in the face of taxpayers

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Martin George: Discontinuation of Piarco matter a slap in the face of taxpayers

The Director of Public Prosecutions’ decision to discontinue one of the matters in the Piarco Airport corruption case has been described as a slap in the face for taxpayers.

That’s according to attorney Martin George.

He said: “It exposes once again the very weak and soft underbelly of our criminal justice system whereby it seems that there is one law for the rich and powerful and another for the poor and indigent, and this does not ­engender any sort of confidence, trust or faith from the ordinary citizen in the system of justice in Trinidad and Tobago.”

George, in an interview with the Express, said it will appear to the man on the street that if a person is in a certain level of power, prestige or privilege, then the law does not apply to that individual—as opposed to those on the lower end of the socio-economic scale, where they are made to feel the full brunt of the law on a daily basis.

“They are arrested, charged, they are convicted and jailed. So, therefore, clearly you will have serious inequities in a society such as that, and persons are going to feel disenfranchised, disillusioned, and they will feel that they are not being treated the same way as others who are able to afford the trappings of the high life,” he said.

He said: “Once again we are seeing millions, maybe hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ dollars wasted in what has been a futile and useless pursuit, only to end up with the Government and the State of Trinidad and Tobago with egg on its face, and another botched and flopped prosecution, ­whereby absolutely no useful result has come out of it from the prosecution’s perspective,” he ­added.

George also said this is “not even the end of the nightmare for the citizens and the ­taxpayers”, as there is now has the potential for more money being spent on fresh litigation. He said there is “much fertile ground” for a claim of malicious prosecution, and “claims can be now mounted to say that there was a malicious intent in this prosecution and of course this is coloured and flavoured by the political paint which attended these matters”.