By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
December 27, 2011
I am not a lawyer, I know nothing about legalese, but I do know when shit stinks and barely literate politicians tell me that I needn’t worry because they have the nation’s best interest at heart. Do I really have to believe the AG when he says that in making his decision about Ish and Steve that his only concern is that justice is served? Ah mean, is it that I have become so bey bey that I don’t know when someone is pissing on me even as he insists that it’s raining bucket ah drop. Ok, I stole this phrase from the title of Judge Judy’s book which reads “Don’t Pee on My Leg and Tell Me It’s Raining” but the intent is the same: stop all this legal chicanery and respect the public’s point of view.
Lest we forget, the case of Ish and Steve started in 2002. This is a case in which these men were indicted about certain misdeeds that broke the laws of the United States. After much toing and froing it was decided that the best place to try these men was in the United States not only because justice was swift and sure but because these men would play on our justice system as a fine-tuned lyre knowing fully well that it could take almost two decades to frustrate the will of the public’s cry for justice.
Such a position is a well-supported fact of life in Trinidad and Tobago jurisprudence. In his recent ruling on this case, Justice Ronnie Boodoosingh recognized this difficulty when he stated that “In Trinidad and Tobago we are fully aware of the deficiencies in the administration of justice, and in particular the length of time which criminal trials take to be concluded.” He concluded: “These factors cannot ever be the reason, whether consciously or subconsciously, to order the extradition of our nationals to other jurisdictions where the criminal system is allegedly more efficient and effective.”
This sophistry did not blind the eyes of the US justice system to the cynicism of how we apply the law in our country and the interminable peregrination to the achievement of justice. Normally, the US is not concerned necessarily with how we operate our legal system unless one of its citizens become trapped in its maze and it (the US) feels that we are talking loud and saying nothing when we talk about justice. It was not for nothing, therefore, that the US Embassy expressed its disappointment with the inability of the T&T government to extradite Steve and Ish to face justice for violating US law.
But just in case the US sense of disappointment undermined by the decision of our AG not to appeal Justice Boodoosingh’s ruling, our AG released the following statement after the US decision: “Of paramount importance is the question of where…the defendants are likely to be brought to justice in the quickest and shortest possible time.” But wasn’t it our Justice Booddoosingh who, in his judgment, bemoaned the inefficiency and ineffectiveness of our legal system to render justice swiftly and fairly?
Not content with this piece of sophistry, our illustrious AG continued with his appalling logic: “Not appealing means that the way is cleared for courts in Trinidad and Tobago to commence the trial of the defendants without further delay. It does not mean that the defendants will walk free without facing a trial – a possible prospect if the State appealed. The Attorney General has every confidence in the ability of the Supreme Court of Justice of the republic of Trinidad and Tobago to competently and fairly try these defendants and deliver justice according to law.” One only has to think of the names Laurence Duprey or Calder Hart to understand the emptiness of this assurance.
Even if the AG’s statement seemed unequivocal it only took two days before Newsday declared in its headline: “Major Hurdles in Pursuing Ish and Steve Case.” It turned out that the potential hurdles that have arisen in light of the AG’s non-challenge of Justice Boodoosingh’s ruling have created major roadblocks to achieving justice: “The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions is finding the situation very challenging is mounting renewed proceedings against [Steve and Ish] in local courts.”
Any citizen with any memory would recognize that the rationale for the recent State of Emergency was to disrupt the factors that led to the escalation of crime in our country, among them the use of T&T as a transshipment for drug distribution, the bringing of guns into our country and the necessary money laundering that accompanies these illegal activities. Necessarily, it is in the interest of the US and hopefully T&T to contest these alleged violations of law at each and every point.
The AG has assured us that now that the defendants have exercised their legal options: “The road is, therefore, now clear for the criminal justice system to get into high gear and commence their trial.” The countries, it seems, is skeptical of these assurances. Our experience of the pace of the judiciary in this country convinces us that it would take another decade before the fate of Steve and Ish is known. Like the AG, I have enormous confidence in the legal system of Trinidad and Tobago; but unlike the AG I question its ability to act quickly, competently and fairly.
The AG’s heart may be clean; his conscience may be clear and his mind may be satisfied but most of us remain troubled. As I assemble the evidence and listen to the AG’s assurances, the stench of the entire situation leaves me with a strange feeling that someone is peeing on me even as he assures me that I am only feeling the effects of mild showers. Is it that we have arrived at a situation in Trinidad and Tobago where the legal system, rather than the criminals, is the source of our distress?
May God and his angels prove me wrong as we enter 2012.
9 thoughts on “Don’t Piss On Me…”
“The road is, therefore, now clear for the criminal justice system to get into high gear and commence their trial.” The countries, it seems, is skeptical of these assurances
Good move by the AG. This case should be dismissed it is a waste of time and tax payers dollars. The Airport is one of the fine examples of beauty and good work. All the hype of corruption still remains unproven. I am always in awe whenever I go through Piarco, all done for a paltry $1.3 billion at time when oil was around $19 a barrel. The real criminals are those who mismanage the Scarborough hospital and the Toruba stadium (both remains incomplete to this day). The Toruba stadium was suppose to be completed at $200 million but many years later and over a billion dollars gone to line the pockets of PNM agents no one is held responsible for this horrible waste. Yet the mindless mob of writers continues to focus their poison pens on Ish and Steve. Ignoring the liteny of corrupt practices under the PNM.
Trinidad justice system is as good as any in the world. The Americans will never deport any of their citizens to T&T for anything at anytime. Why should we subject our citizenry to this scandalous attempt to subjugate the T&T justice system. Only the “house creole” reporters will kiss up to uncle Sam, because of prejudicial thinking. The extradiction of those who murdered an America citizen was the right thing to do. However all the accusations against Ish and Steve never really found itself clear of political influence with the former AG dropping charges so that they could be extradited (lol). Ish and Steve were touted as “UNC financiers” even when they stop financing anything (lol). One particular newspaper filled with third world thinkers continued to proclaim the UNC financiers logo even when the UNC was no longer in power and was “scrunting” for a few dollars. The political element in this case cannot be ignored because the PNM played it well. Incidently Ish carried a PNM party card prior to this project and I am sure he injected some good money into the PNM coffers. Hmmm. Now there is an angle that the agents of trash journalism could pursue, however, such knowledge defies them..
Mamoo, are you for real? Really? I agree with your summation that Toruba stadium and Scarborough Hospital remain a disgrace in terms of the administration of projects in our country but Piarco being a fine example of how efficiently our money is spent because a UNC government administered it is fine and ok?
Junk! and only a twisted mind will acknowledge such foolishness when the US government has correctly convicted several of the swindlers of our money and the US as well. You know this and it would be futile to convince you in a public forum of the stupidity of the thoughts you expressed.
Mamoo I am sure that you reside South of the Caroni Bridge ,for you to talk so much tata .That is why this gov’t will last one term ,after people of all races voted for this pp gov’t.here you come and talk so much nonsense …Have a nice new year!!!
Remember it was the UNC Gov’t under Mr Basdeo Panday that sigh that Extradiction treaty .
There are those who stupidly, or rather , naively think ,that these seemingly meaningless ,cyber exercises, patriotic, global humanist folks like Dr Cudjoe , myself ,and a few conscious others ,repeatedly engage in today ,are some destructive attack on them, and their opaque , insecure tribe. Far from it, for there is a bigger purpose to the endeavors.It’s one of the reasons , I personally always wish to know from some,’what is your end game?’
The contributions that Afrikans have made not only to the world at large , but specifically to Trinidad and Tobago , are enormous . We would not be sidetrack , by the acts of culturally depraved , evil , self serving barbarians , in whatever guise they may try.
We would not hesitate to expose them, and their destructive , corrupt behaviors ,wheresoever we see it. We take great pleasure in poking holes into the stellar images of their so called heroes.
Our priority remains more importantly, to likewise educate many of our people , and offer a beacon of light for the young , so that one country ,nation , and continent ,after another , they too would continue to rise up to their full potentials , and take their rightful place .The war cry therefore remains , ‘ Rise up ye mighty people, as you too were once kings and queens!
Good job Doc, and yes ,it’s a beautiful life.
Well said Dr. Cudjoe. One does not have to be ‘intelligent’ to see where this case is going! – in the dust bin. It is smart manuevreing for the eventual release (freely) of Ish and Steve, it is smart politicking for the support base of the PP, but is it good for the legal system in our country? NO. Is it smart in terms of the hypocrisy it has placed on our fairness in dealing of those we wish to extradite and we dont? NO. Will this action by the AG be a sign of how reliable we are as a country to honour our legal agreements with other countries? YEP! What are we to make of this government’s action from foreign capitals? We cannot in all seriousness depend on this administration to honour by international agreements
Regarding the ‘Ish & Steve’ affair with TnT’s juris[im]prudence, the AG and his poltical handlers know that ‘the public is being pissed off because the public is being pissed on’.
Move to adjourn!
But the AG knows he could live with that, and do more than merely survive. He will strive.
And no doubt, like Sat be presented for his services with The (dis)Order of Trinidad & Tobago.
The public, whether for or against the UNC regime, knows that they are paying to be crapped on; that they are being fed bulls*it in wrappings dubbed ‘Demerara sugar’.
All that really matters is that everyone, the AG, the politicians, and the public know this is TnT, no problem.
We should simply give them pats on the head, on both of each’s heads, and saw “well done though good and faithful servants of A CORRUPT SYSTEM. REAP NOW, THE REWARDS OF YOUR PARTY BEING IN POWER.” Saves a lot of verbiage.
Greetings Madam L, and it’s good to see that you are still alive , and kicking. I was on the verge of saying that you were scarcer than your ‘brain freezing, Texan Governor ,Rick Perry,’ in the people’s Chamber, still languishing in the Iowan polls.
Well ,thank goodness that he too has fizzled out politically , as it would be almost blasphemous ,to have him unleashed on the people in these United States as well, like G.W the mental degenerate, was done, a decade ago.
Let him instead ,go ahead ,and execute most of his population, subject 12 year old girls ,to mandated HVP Vaccine inoculations, to boost the financial coffers ,of his Pharmaceutical corporate pals, then finally push his dream of secession, of the lone star state- maybe to join Mexico?
Best wishes for 2012.
Speaking of Ish , and dish , it’s America’s chess move now, so let’s see what Cuz Obama’s plans are.
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