Editorials

Eyes on RGPF!!!

THE NEW TODAY would be paying close attention to the Criminal investigation on sexual misconduct started by the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) against Cletus St. Paul, the top security aide of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.

This newspaper would be keeping a watchful eye the police to see whether they will do their work on the case and not engage in any underhand and sloppy investigation given the stakes involved in this high profile case now in their hands.

A number of people on the island do not trust RGPF with certain investigations and have already expressed reservations that the “St Paul Case” is going nowhere far and will reach a dead end.

THE NEW TODAY can understand the sentiments given past instances of what appeared to be a deliberate ploy by the police force to sweep under the carpet certain cases.

A few years ago, the police were called upon to investigate an alleged rape by a senior Superintendent of Police and two other cases of sexual misconduct against two other Superintendents of Police and those investigations went nowhere.

As a matter of fact, the complainant was a female police officer who went to then Commissioner of Police, Winston James to officially inform him of the rape that took place at a police house in St. John.

Two of the Superintendents were known supporters of the New National Party (NNP) which was in power at the time of the incidents.

The matter was brought to the attention of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Christopher Nelson and he gave the police certain specific instructions on how to conduct the investigation into the case.

The so-called investigation was put in the hands of a member of the force who was a Junior to some of the Superintendents who refused to be interviewed by him.

Today, one of the Superintendents who was identified as engaging in alleged sexual misconduct is now occupying a high office as an untouchable within RGPF and might well be in a position to have access to the official police file on St. Paul.

It should also be noted that the same Superintendent was sent home from the job during the 1990-95 rule of the island by the Congress government of late Prime Minister Sir Nicholas Brathwaite on allegations that he was engaged in serious unlawful activities.

However, the police officer was re-instated in RGPF when current Prime Minister Mitchell came into office and over the years has been given rapid promotion up the ranks of the police force.

The public are also raising questions about the status of police cases in the court against their own notably ASP Claudius Coutain and the driving licence scam as well as one involving the infamous “Boxer” and the poultry products.

THE NEW TODAY is also concerned about the silence of the organisation known as the Grenada National Organisation of Women (GNOW) on this particular issue of sexual assault of a woman by a top state official. Why the silence from GNOW?

This organisation should be asking a number of serious questions of our Prime Minister as the one who put the victim in contact with his security aide.

It is well established that the lady did personally complain to Prime Minister Mitchell that she was allegedly sexually assaulted at her home by Mr. St. Paul.

The logical question in the mind of any right-thinking person is the following – What does the Prime Minister know about this incident and when did he know about it and after hearing about it did he suggest that she report the matter to the police? If not, can this be considered as a dereliction of duty on the part of Dr. Mitchell? Was he trying to cover it up and sweep it under the carpet since the woman alleged that she told him since December about the alleged sexual assault on her?

A number of other questions will naturally follow from the issue of this alleged sexual misconduct of the top member of the Prime Minister’s security detail.

GNOW and other organisations in the country have dropped the ball and are still asleep on a matter in which a female member of our society is complaining about an act of sexual misconduct against her by a very high profile state official.

The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) should also be interested in this St Paul matter as it points in the direction of an abuse of power.

The simple question is the following: How can a political operative of the ruling party who is not a public officer appointed to serve in the civil service by the Public Service Commission (PSC) be in a position of authority to give out government land and building material?

This is another clear case of a breakdown of the independent institutions in the country under the NNP regime.

The victim in the Cletus St Paul case should be congratulated for mustering the strength and energy to come forward and go to the police given the political landscape in the country in which Grenada is now a one-party state under the total control of Prime Minister Mitchell and the NNP.

And it is well known that Mr. Cletus St. Paul is a key figure in the NNP set-up to maintain its stranglehold on political power in the country.

THE NEW TODAY can testify that a number of women have since come forward with information about their experiences with St. Paul who was placed in a very important position by the current government to assist persons looking for assistance with the distribution of government material and lands.

According to one such individual, “it’s been happening to ah lot of us vulnerable women in this country all cause we looking for a better life”

The nation is watching to see the next stage in this unfolding story.

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