The hottest topic on the lips of Grenadians at the moment is the manner in which convicted murderer, Alexander Clack from Britain was able to walk out of court a free man in recent days after “confessing” to the murder of his 27-year old Grenadian wife, Nexiann Downes-Clack.
THE NEW TODAY notes that the public is non the much wiser about what really took place due to the many different versions of the events that unfolded to the point where the Court of Appeal released the man on some issue surrounding the unavailability of the transcript of the high court proceedings.
The only person who can truly come out and explain what really transpired is the Registrar of the Supreme Court, granted that the current holder of the office might not be the one who was sitting in the chair when the prevailing incident occurred.
All four attorneys – Anslem Clouden, the legal representative of Mr. Clack, former President of the Grenada Bar Association (GBA), Ruggles Ferguson, as well as Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Christopher Nelson, QC, and Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Claudette Joseph have given different versions of the issue at hand.
It is definitely not clear to the public whether the computer with that critical portion of the summation of the presiding judge in the matter was stolen or whether it was just faulty recording.
The one positive thing to come out of the entire episode is the decision taken by the new Dickon Mitchell-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration to allocate some serious financial resources in addressing many of the shortcomings within the Judiciary.
The leader of the previous government, Dr. Keith Mitchell had demonstrated time and time again his dislike for members of the legal profession.
The former leader never took kindly to those judges who made rulings against some of the decisions and actions taken by his New National Party (NNP) regime over its tenure in office.
In his over 20 years in running the country, there are several instances in which Dr. Mitchell had tried to interfere with the independence of the Judiciary.
The public is fully aware that retired Chief Magistrate Patricia Mark was summoned to the Office of the Prime Minister at the Ministerial Complex at the Botanical Gardens in connection with two high profile cases – one including former Leader of the Opposition Michael Baptiste.
The late Foreign Minister Dr. Raphael Fletcher had even told reporters about the angry tone and murmurings of Dr. Mitchell inside the Cabinet Room especially against former Chief Justice, Brian Alleyne whenever he delivered a ruling against his administration.
The Congress government has now been provided with an opportunity to rebuild the trust between the Judiciary and the Public which took an all-time low with the Clack matter.
The public has become increasingly distrustful of justice in our court system and often times believe that those with money are the beneficiaries of justice in the country.
The average man believes strongly that something is amiss with the Transcript issue and that money “passed under the table” to force a particular outcome in the matter.
The new administration has a lot of work to do to restore that badly damaged and wounded trust by the ordinary man on the street in the judicial system in our country.
THE NEW TODAY would also like to make some passing comments on the death of General Hudson Austin – the man who announced to the world that there was an armed overthrow of a government on this small Caribbean island back in March 1979 and also the violent death of a Prime Minister in October 1983.
There are mixed feelings and reactions among Grenadians whenever the name of General Austin is mentioned especially his perceived role in the death of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop at Fort Rupert/George in the power play within the then ruling New Jewel Movement among radicals and moderates for control of the Grenada Revolution.
The former Army Commander should be credited for the kind of information that he provided within the past year of his life as it helped to put into much clearer perspective many of the secrets that the other revolutionaries were unwilling to address so as to give the people a better understanding of what took place on the day that was described as the most bloodiest in our modern history.
Hudson Austin was able to place ex-deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard at the centre of things and the real mastermind of the attempted coup d’etat against Bishop and his subsequent execution on the fort.
It should be noted that not one single person among the so-called Grenada 17 came out publicly to challenge the information released by the former army strongman on who should be blamed for the manner in which things went out of control on October 19, 1983.
The General told us that it was Coard who informed him about the fabricated death of Bishop in crossfire on the fort, as well as the fact that he was the author of the speech which the top army man made on the night in the broadcast to the nation.
It has been the contention of Austin that the Central Committee of the NJM never met on Fort Frederick to take the decision to execute Bishop and the other leaders of the revolutionary process after hundreds of Grenadians had stormed the official residence of the Prime Minister and freed him from house arrest.
He implicated Coard’s secret cell group known as OREL who saw themselves as the true and real revolutionaries as the persons behind the attempted overthrow of the NJM and execution of Bishop in their ambition to take full control of the Grenada Revolution.
MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE!!!