Women's Issues In Guyana


Unprofessional, malicious statement

Posted in Culture & Society by wiig on September 19, 2006
Tags: , , ,

Guyana Chronicle – September 19, 2006

Dear Editor,

I REFER to the article in the Guyana Chronicle newspaper of Saturday September 16, 2006 at page 11 under the caption ‘Court row over Brazilian dancers’.

The article quotes Magistrate Gilhuys as saying that the particulars of the offence were not properly written and, as such, he could not read something that seemed wrong and would not do so until the situation is rectified.

Paragraph 5 of the said article then quotes Mr Anil Nandalall, Attorney-at-law as saying that “This is as a result of the incompetence of the Police and the DPP”.

In reply to Mr Nandalall’s statement, I wish to state the following:

(1) That on Friday 15th September at about 11:45 am, I received a telephone call from Magistrate Gilhuys’ Police Prosecutor Inspector Thomas that the Magistrate had requested a State Counsel to go to his court at 1:30 pm to assist in the prosecution of the matter.

(2) Pursuant to this request, I instructed Senior State Counsel Ms Candace Raphael to attend the Magistrate’s Court.

(3) When Ms Raphael arrived at the court, she saw for the first time, the Immigration charges made out by the Police. Upon reading the charges she found that the particulars of the charges were not correctly drafted. Ms Raphael immediately brought this to the attention of the court. The Magistrate then gave the Police an opportunity to amend the particulars of the charges.

(4) It is to be noted that the advice of the DPP Chambers was not sought in drafting the charge.

(5) Having regard to the fact that the DPP was represented by a Senior State Counsel at short notice, who was able upon first reading of the charges in court to detect that the charges were badly drafted and so informed the court, the outburst by Mr Nandalall of the incompetence of the DPP was not only a libellous but an unprofessional and malicious statement intended to bring the DPP’s Chambers in disrepute.

Paragraph 6 of the said article quoted Mr Nandalall, “The lawyer said the DPP should have a system for administering proper and legal advice, because when the mechanism for the process breaks down, the functionaries in those Chambers are ultimately responsible”.

I wish to inform Mr Nandalall that there is a system for administering legal advice. Firstly, it is the police who are responsible for investigating matters. It is therefore their responsibility to bring the matters to the DPP’s Chambers for advice.

It follows that if the Police fail to seek the advice of the DPP’s Chambers, as they often do, then it is an unfair and unjustified statement to say that the DPP’s Chambers are ultimately responsible.

Mr Nandalall is well aware that the DPP’s office is not equipped with investigative resources. That is Police work.

I wish to commend Senior State Counsel Ms Raphael, for her work in quickly recognising that the charges were not properly drafted and immediately informing the court. She should be commended and not vilified.

Finally, I am disappointed that the newspaper publicised Mr Nandalall’s derogatory comments of the DPP and the Office without first giving me the opportunity to respond.

I trust that this letter will be published with equal prominence.
SHALIMAR ALI-HACK
ATTORNEY-AT-LAW
DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS (AG)

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