Opposition leader condemns “gangster-like” attacks on DPP

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Opposition leader condemns “gangster-like” attacks on DPP

Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, is accusing Chief Justice Ivor Archie of ganging up with the Prime Minister and Attorney General against the Director of Public Prosecutions, Roger Gaspard.

Speaking before UNC supporters at the party’s Monday Night Forum in St Helena, Persad-Bissessar said that Archie’s recent statements against Gaspard were presumptuous and totally out of place.

The CJ, in his statement last Friday, blamed the DPP for the continuing staff shortage due to his failure to suggest names and appraisals for prosecutors to be promoted and of failing to indicate the urgency needed in filling vacancies in his office.

The CJ’s comments followed those of the PM and the AG, who said the DPP’s office was underperforming.

Persad-Bissessar said: “I condemn in the strongest possible terms the thuggish, gangster-like attacks on DPP Gaspard – the highest offices in the land, they’re operating like thugs and gangsters!”

To the CJ she said: “Why are you engaging in that battle?!”
“Why would a CJ jump into the political fray in a 10-page public statement – why you didn’t call in the man and say ‘DPP, you have problems – let’s talk’.

“Why now? This isn’t the first time the DPP has said he has a staff shortage … if since 2014 the department was understaffed … I call on the CJ to explain why now? Did somebody tell you to do it? Is it payback time Chief Justice?! Is it trump and follow suit with the PM and AG and you coming to back them up?”

She said Gaspard was a decent, honourable independent DPP, and the Prime Minister “doesn’t want that as he wants a puppet whose strings he can pull.”

Persad-Bissessar called on Rowley to say if Government completed the work recommended by Special Branch for safety on the Park Street building for the DPP. She called on him and CoP Harewood-Christopher to say if there are multiple Special Branch reports on the building.

“If Special Branch is saying it’s dangerous, why blame the DPP – there’s more in the mortar, how come they’re going after the DPP after he discontinued the case against Ramdeen and Ramlogan and Basdeo Panday and others.”

“Are there plans afoot to smear the DPP and hound him out of office? He’s clearly upset the political directorate, don’t be surprised if you see all sorts of stories about him, they get their trolls to do as they cannot control him.”