The New Today
Editorials

The lawsuit in the making!!!

As widely expected in legal circles, the family members of the two Americans killed by the three escaped prisoners from the South St George Police Station on February 18 are laying the foundation to file a massive lawsuit against the island.

The family members have retained the legal services of former Attorney-General Jimmy Bristol which is a clear indication of the intent of the Americans to seek massive compensation for the loss of their loved ones.

This 48-hours of madness by these criminals from Paradise in St Andrew will cost the Treasury millions of dollars.

It is a case that Grenada cannot hope to defend successfully because too much information is already out in the public domain about the circumstances behind the manner in which the two persons lost their lives.

Tuesday’s press conference by the Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell and Acting Commissioner of Police Don McKenzie would have provided enough material for defense lawyers to prepare the lawsuit.

It is doubtful that this battle will take place in the high courts of Grenada as the compensation package will be peanuts in terms of what the family members are seeking to obtain for the deaths.

The most likely venue will be a court in New York where the kind of compensation packages run into many millions.

The last time Grenada was subjected to a ruling in a New York court was under the Keith Mitchell-led New National Party (NNP) government when it was sued successfully by Taiwan to repay millions in loans in the fall-out due to the severing of ties with Taipei for a more lucrative deal from Mainland China.

Grenada had to settle the lawsuit and reach an amicable arrangement to repay the millions to the Taiwanese in installments over a period of time.

The current Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell, is an attorney-at-law by profession and is well-placed to understand all of the legal options available to the family members and their lawyers in light of the deaths of the two Americans through human error on the part of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF).

It is now public record that the Prime Minister has made the findings of the Ryan Hall investigation into what transpired at the South St George Police Station known to Grenadians and the entire world, that some police officers are to be blamed for providing the opportunity for the three Paradise prisoners to escape and commit murder against the two American citizens.

The authorities are on the right track in carrying out a further investigation into the leadership of the Central Division and also that particular police station.

The truth of the matter is that the party colours of “Green vs Yellow” has taken deep root inside the Police Force in the past 30 years especially under the NNP Maximum Leader and no amount of whitewashing by the powers-that-be can alter the reality of the situation.

Those in the current Police High Command are fully aware that some senior officers have openly stated that they are not prepared “to work hard” under the NDC administration of Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell.

There are also some senior officers within RGPF who are upset with being transferred from certain prestigious positions that were given to them under the NNP government following regime change on June 23, 2022.

The current Acting Commissioner of Police Don McKenzie and even those who will succeed him in the next few years will not have an easy task in managing RGPF due to the politicisation of the Force along the lines of tribal party politics in the country.

The last regime was able to install many of its key supporters in all the top sensitive positions in the police force and also at other levels within key State institutions and most of these people are committed to their party and not the country.

THE NEW TODAY would also like to make some passing comments on what is known as “The Scanner issue” at the St George’s Port.

The information in our possession is that there is at present on the Port a Scanner that can be used by the Customs Department to help them in their efforts to get at illegal things coming into the country especially arms and ammunition.

The Prime Minister acknowledged at a press conference this week that he has no knowledge about the existence of this scanner.

However, a high-ranking member of the Grenada Ports Authority indicated that his organisation had “bought a scanner for Customs” and that “its application and use is a matter for them” (at the Customs Department).

There can be no doubt that the Scanner does exist and an attempt is being made to lay the blame on the Customs Department for not taking the necessary steps to ensure that the machine is up and running.

The current government is talking about installing scanners at the major point of entry but a scanner is already on the island and lying idle on the St George’s Port.

It really begs the question – is someone hiding information from the Prime Minister of the country to the point that he will come out in public and admit that he is not aware of the existence of this vital piece of equipment in the fight against illegal arms and ammunition?

It appears that in this little island of ours the right hand is not aware of what the left hand is clearly doing.

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