One of the headlined articles in this week’s e-paper of THE NEW TODAY is headlined “POLICEMAN SLAMMED BY HIS SUPERIORS FOR SERVING LEGAL DOCUMENT ON PRIME MINISTER MITCHELL”.
This clearly demonstrates that the High Command of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) are taking sides in an issue involving one of their own junior officers and the current Prime Minister.
No one should be surprised given the fact that some of the top brass in the police force were given rapid promotions under the current New National Party (NNP) regime and owe a debt of gratitude to their Command-in-Chief who is the Minister of National Security, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.
These spineless police officers could not muster the courage to inform the Prime Minister that this is a matter with legal implications and no attempt should be made to bring them into it to satisfy his anger at being served the document.
This kind of behaviour is expected when a police force has among its ranks three clearly identifiable officers with NNP credentials – the two deputies Michael Francois and Tafawa Pierre, the husband of Education Minister Emmalin Pierre, and Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) John Mitchell, a cousin of the Grenadian leader.
It is our information that ACP Mitchell was the one who really took the junior officer to task on the issue of going to the Botanical Gardens to try and serve the letter to the Prime Minister.
During the 2003-08 period in government of Dr. Mitchell, he refused to be served by a court bailiff, Terry Registe and the then head of Special Branch, Superintendent Anthony DeGale formed a human shield around him to prevent the court official from handing him the document.
This is one Grenadian Prime Minister who has demonstrated quite clearly that he sees himself as above the law and has no respect for anyone.
THE NEW TODAY cannot see the members of the High Command accusing the low-ranking officer who served the letter from a local law firm on the Prime Minister as being involved in conflict of interest given the fact that so many police officers are engaged in duties other than law-enforcement officers.
It is not uncommon to see police officers driving their own buses from the Terminal on Melville Street to the various routes around the island.
Scores of other police officers have invested in the bus business and have hired persons to work the vehicles for them.
The days have long gone when police officers could not engage in employment opportunities outside RGPF.
This incident involving the Prime Minister and the junior officer is a gentle reminder about the attitude of the current head of our government to the court system on the island.
Ever since he came to power in the 1995 general election, Dr. Mitchell has been hostile to our courts and legal system especially whenever judgments do not go in his favour.
The late Dr. Raphael Fletcher, a one-time senior Cabinet Minister in the 1995-99 government made a public statement to the effect that the Prime Minister often used to swear in the Cabinet room at former high court judge Brian Alleyne whenever he ruled against the State.
In more recent times, PM Mitchell stunned the nation when he told Grenadians that he disagreed with the judgement handed down in favour of Grand Anse small businessman Dorset Charles against his regime for bulldozing his watersports enterprise back in the 1990’s.
The irony of the situation is that the NNP set-up involves several of our lawyers who know better than to encourage the Prime Minister in this kind of gutter-type behavior towards the Judiciary but have locked jaws.
It appears that these lawyers are more concerned with feeding off the State financially and daily checking on their bank accounts from deals derived from the NNP administration as the custodian of the people’s business.
Former offshore banking regulator, Michael Creft had indicated weeks after U.S law enforcement officials had questioned him over financial activities in Grenada involving the likes of the controversial First Bank International in the 1999-2003 period that he was instructed by the Prime Minister to make sure that the law firm of his then Governor General got its “fair share” of money from legal work with offshore businesses setting up shop on the island.
Even the current ruling against the government on the Pension issue involving the public sector employees showed the two faces of the current Prime Minister.
On one hand, he told the Social Partners Grouping on Tuesday that he would not appeal against the judgement handed down by high court judge, Justice Raulston Glasgow and in the same vein said he wanted certain aspects of the ruling to be clarified.
It is either he file an appeal against the judgement or ask the Attorney-General and the high-priced Senior Counsel from neighbouring Trinidad & Tobago to trigger some kind of mechanism that can get the court system to address the concern as this is the right of the government.
However, THE NEW TODAY is picking up intelligence reports within the power circles of the OECS Court system that those in authority consider the present Prime Minister as “toxic” and one who has no respect for the Judiciary.
The reports seem to suggest that Dr. Mitchell is a lucky man because of some kind of agreement arrived at not to send a sitting Prime Minister within the OECS sub-regional grouping to jail to serve any prison sentence that can be imposed on him for contempt of court and otherwise.
Our position has often been that given the ‘Tin God’ nature and tendencies of some of our leaders that they want to create two systems – one set of laws to make them untouchables and another for the rest of the population.