The promised police investigation into the allegations about the shooting incident said to involve Cornelius John, Assistant Director of Public Prosecution Karim Nelson, Senator and Deputy House Speaker Ashelle Morgan and a still unnamed third perpetuator is complete.
One day after Opposition Leader Dr. Godwin Friday hosted a multi-issues media brief in which he again called attention to the plight of the Vincentian businessman who allegedly was shot and beaten by Nelson and threatened at gun point by Morgan, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves told Asbert News Network, exclusively, “like everybody else I am waiting on the DPP.
“As far as I am aware that the police would have finished their investigation, sent the file to the DPP, the DPP asked for certain additional information; certain further investigation about this or that and I understand that has been done – the details of which I don’t know.
“So that it’s a question now of she dealing with the file and making her determination on the basis which is before her. So that’s that. I don’t get involved in the police investigation. I don’t get involved in the DPP’s decision.”
Several days prior to Prime Minister Gonsalves’ announcement regarding this latest development in the saga, which according to Dr. Friday has reached regional acclaim, the Director Of Public Prosecutions Sejilla McDowall told Asbert News Network that her office was not yet served with a file on the investigation even though she was aware that there was an active investigation at the time.
PM Gonsalves who is currently in Havana extending emotional support to his wife who is undergoing post-surgery checkup, noted that he was unsure as to “the precise date” on which the file was delivered to DPP McDowall.
“But I was informed that she got the file by the Commissioner [of Police] and that she read the file and sent for some further investigation and I think that was completed and that is not an unusual process from a DPP and it’s now for her to make a decision,” he said.
The 5 term Prime Minister again reiterated his non-involvement in the “independent” inquiries conducted by the police or the subsequent decisions that must be made by the Director of Public Persecutions.
Dr. Gonsalves again pointed to his approach to managing the situation when former Opposition members, like Vynette Fredrick, were charged by the police.
He also pointed to the fact that a criminal complaint was laid against Senator Israel Bruce and although it was later withdrawn – “whether he [the Virtual Complainant] get money or don’t get money I don’t know and frankly speaking it don’t matter me. These are sideshows really.”
Asked whether he knows the identity of the third person who was said to have accompanied Morgan and Nelson when they allegedly trespassed on John’s property on April 13 this year, PM Gonsalves protested, “I know nothing.
“I know nothing about any – listen I read things like how you read things. I know what Ashelle told me but I can’t say anything which would prejudice any investigation or any decision.
“Never ever have I done that and I don’t intend to change that ever, ever. The police under the Constitution and under the Police Act they have a job. They ain’t say under the Police Act that the Minister of National Security or the Prime Minister must get involved in investigations.
“Nothing like that is there. I have nothing to do with that. And I have no suggestions to make about anything whatsoever dealing with an investigation other than to find out if an investigation is ongoing or what is the state of an investigation.
“When the Commissioner names a senior person in charge of an investigation and I know that senior person, I know that senior person would direct that investigation with all reasonable dispatch. Some investigations take longer than others some take shorter.”
Meanwhile lawyer for the gunshot victim, Kay Bacchus-Baptiste is of the view that both COP John and the Prime Minister ought to be on the same page. Since, she noted, COP John – as a guest on BOOM 1069’s OMG In Da Morning earlier on Wednesday – told media audiences that the investigation was “close to the end in my estimation.
“The public would certainly be informed whether by me or by the DPP who would be making the decision because the DPP has the authority to continue or discontinue a case or to prosecute or not prosecute as the case might be.
“But I’m sure that – well I can’t say that I’m sure – but it’s very likely that the DPP would make a statement as regarding.”
As far as Bacchus-Baptiste is concerned, if the investigation is completed then as the next logical step, “it means they will have to arrest the perpetuators.”
A sentiment with which COP John inadvertently agreed in the previous day’s interview. He said, “if there is sufficient evidence to support and sustain the charge then that’s the regular procedure [that the persons would be arrested and the matter would be taken to Court?] Yes. That’s the regular procedure, yeah.”
Bacchus-Baptiste stressed, “I don’t know what that means because to me the investigation could only be finished when they make a determination and act upon it. So I have no idea what that means and I could just say that it sounds to me like the two of them not on the same page.”