Sir Anthony knocks DPP

By Andre Bagoo
December 06, 2012 – newsday.co.tt

Director of Public Prosecutions Roger GaspardSIR ANTHONY Colman, chairman of the Commission of Inquiry into the collapse of Clico has described Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard’s application to halt the inquiry or make it private as being “misconceived”, but said it is ultimately up to the Government to decide whether the inquiry should continue in light of a purported start of a police probe.

“The public interest in open investigation extends to the media as much as to the public enquiries set up for such purpose,” Sir Anthony stated in a written ruling dated Tuesday December 4.

“The administration of criminal justice should normally be allowed to proceed notwithstanding prior adverse press comment unless a fair trial is impossible. So also should public enquiries proceed unless the risk that their future conduct will create fair trial prejudice is so great as to displace that public interest.”

On Monday, attorney for the DPP Edward Jenkins QC, applied to have the media thrown out of the case as he made a secret application to have the inquiry – in its present form – stopped on the basis of the start of a police probe into the collapse of Clico.

Last month, the DPP issued a press release warning media houses to not report on the matter before the inquiry, citing the risk of contempt of court. Sir Anthony on Monday, in an oral ruling, declined the DPP’s application.

In his written ruling, Sir Anthony says he has no doubt that the DPP’s application as “misconceived”.

“In the present case, there is no pending criminal trial,” he says. “Nobody has been charged with any specific offence. Counsel for the DPP did not suggest that indictments could now be drafted and that charges were imminent. Nor was he able to say how long it would be before anybody would be charged. Nor could he predict when a criminal trial might start or when it might finish. However, I infer that the police investigation, having only recently commenced, it will be impossible to commence a substantial serious fraud trial in 2013 and unlikely that any such trial would last less than six to eight months. Nor do I find any circumstances so exceptional as to call for the suspension of the inquiry in the absence of abuse of process.”

Sir Anthony continues, “In these circumstances, I have no doubt that, as matters now exist, the DPP’s application is misconceived and that there is no basis in principle for me to stop the proceedings in the inquiry or to adopt most of the lesser courses urged by Mr Jenkins. I therefore decline to advise the President either to terminate the Inquiry or to amend the terms of reference. Certain individuals are so inextricably involved in all aspects of what went wrong with Clico and Hindu Credit Union that severance of facts of their conduct from the remainder of any report would be impossible and, if attempted, would produce a substantially useless report.”

However, Sir Anthony acknowledges that the effect of the announcement of the start of a police probe would impact the inquiry.

“I do however, accept that individuals are entitled at all stages of this Inquiry, when they give evidence, to claim the privilege against self-incrimination,” he states. “Some persons may be entitled to invoke this privilege for answers to particular questions or even for answers that they may give to all questions .

That is a matter for my decision in each case upon application. If they are answerable to a subpoena they must specifically invoke that privilege so that it can be considered and ruled upon by me. On this basis some individuals may be permitted to decline to answer any questions. They do so, at the risk of adverse inference.”

He said it is now for the Government to decide the future of the inquiry, but strongly warned against suspension.

http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,170185.html

9 Responses to “Sir Anthony knocks DPP”


  • Historically over $300 million has been spent, Linguist report, lawyers, judges etc trying to put a few people behind bars. The result , well they are still free and that money could have been spent in building roads, improving hospital and health care delivery all wasted.

    The CLICO debanacle is no different. The current inquiry is the best way forward, grant immunity to those who are giving information and use the information to plug all the holes in the system. Financial institutions should always be monitored closely especially when the public invest in such institutions. Red flag should have been raised at the high interest rates CLICO was paying in a global downturn, but there was a lot of missed opportunities. HCU was no different.

    I say have the inquiries and use the information to draft legislation that would prevent this from happening, or inform the public in their rights to question any kind of information that a financial institution is putting forward. Also regular government audits of these institutions should be conducted and they should be cautioned when making bad financial decisions. That would be the best way forward, regulations, guidelines and regular audits.

  • DPP moving swiftly to charge MP Partap but why Calder still free when it is a known fact that he funnelled millions out of the nation. Could it be that Calder and the DPP were friends? Just asking. It is hard to charge someone with whom you sat down and ate doubles and drank beer…..

  • This DPP is well noted for incompetence! The constitution needs to change to avoid this confusion regarding jurisdiction Re: the CJ, AG, DPP and now the Minister of Justice. Definitions and clarification of roles are required. The government should be considering the elimination of the office of the DPP.

  • They would do it T Man , de day that any one of your Canadian Governments, do everything in their power to eliminate the anachronistic ,British Monarchy, led by Queen Liz, as head of state ,and finally allow the French Fraction of the country ,led by Quebec to secede. We know the real reason as to why you and similar others hate him TMan , and would respect you more if ‘you alls’ would admit it, yes?

    • The reason why I personally disapprove of him is that his office appears to be slow and incompetent. Most Provincial governments in Canada do not have an office of the DPP. His role is usually fulfilled by a Chief crown prosecutor working in the office of the AG and exercizing impartiality, a concept foreign to most public officials in T&T.

  • Come on T-Man , there got to be an air of practicality in your thinking my friend. You and I know that getting rid of the DPP office has as much of a chance, as getting rid of the Privy Council, in favor of de much m,aligned Caribbean Appeal Courts.
    As a matter of fact,Criminal Islamist Abu Bakr has a better chance of being made Minister of National Security, and one of his 8 Trini wives mostly from Central, made Minister of Gender Affairs , than this present DPP getting kicked out, or his office eliminated.
    Trust me , we survived your recently fired Justice Minister , who mucked up the DPP office when he was de big chief , and so we will survive this PNM ,political torn in de PP flesh.
    You are unfortunately a victim of ‘everything that is foreign and European is good syndrome,’ T-Man , and so lacks the credibility to speak objectively.It is de same disease that your much revered Nobelist ,V.S Naipaul , and similar country loathing , self haters , suffers from unfortunately. ( Just kidding for V.S ardent fans)
    In addition , what is even more worst for folks like yourself , is that implied meaning that reverberates loudly , when you use the typical derogatory terms to describe our local public servants, hard at work.
    What you are really saying is – ‘ incompetent, clueless, lazy , slow, bias, members of ‘Afro, Kinky Head Nation,’ thus ignoring members of your OWN tribe who , for all de cry still makes up 50% of the public service , and 90.9 % of the private sector.
    Sorry , but all that Trinidad and Tobago needs , is a sense of patriotism , and cohesive /togetherness, for a start.
    We will get there, yes? Keep de faith!, and more importantly for you and those of similar ilk- Luv country over tribe!

    • Look Neal, I am totally and completely flattered that you are lumping me with the learned V.S.Naipaul.
      Although I deserve the connection intellectually, I admit to not being half a writer as V.S.
      But getting back to our favorite DPP, have you noticed how he is revelling in his order to charge a bit player like Partap for failing to submit to a breathalizer. Meanwhile the big crooks are sitting in Miami, London and other capitals laughing at this incompetent freaker…. a nice Sando boy, but completely out of his element.Bring in a lawyer from London because these recent UWI products are useless as they are released from this failing institution where standards are going down the drain.

  • Flattered huh? GooD for you , but I seriously hope for your sake , and hopefully , a certain recently graduated, Canadian cross country ,female runner , you have a more decent bone in your body than that socially immoral , ungrateful , self loathing creature, T- Man. Here you lamented that the SUBPAR, UWI trained DPP ,”…. is revelling in his order to charge a bit player like Partap for failing to submit to a breathalizer.”
    Still don’t get it ehhh T- Man ? No one is above de law , especially a politician in our fledging democracy. As a result of his behavior , Should you, I , or any member of John public subject ourselves to a similar test ,when asked by a cop , or instead call our MP, while using our clout/ influence to evade one?
    If this was Fitzgerald Hinds , would you feel de same , or would wish like Her Majestick Queen K , just stated to ARDENT party supporter ,Marchel Montanto – ‘face de music buddy-‘ even if she claimed to like his music? I luv dis land.

  • I am amazed that the office of the DPP could wait until the statute of limitation has run out and then try to stop a Commission of Inquiry. Talk about incompetence. Is there any way to get rid of this character and office?? And I say get rid of because the foundation of this office is faulty and any attempt to restructure on that foundation is doomed to collapse. I find the only cases that are dealt with in a timely fashion is drug possession.

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