Immediately following the withdrawal of private criminal charges against Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield and Deputy CEO, Roxanne Myers last Friday, it was announced that the DPP had granted fiat for six attorneys to prosecute the cases against the GECOM Officials and others under similar charges instituted by the police.
PPP Member of Parliament Sanjeev Datadin has been appointed to lead the team of private prosecuting attorneys, with the others being: Glenn Hanoman, Ganesh Hira, George Thomas, Mark Conway and Perry Gosai.
On Friday, Hughes told members of the media, that he would be writing to the DPP to indicate that his objection to Datadin’s appointment is based on the fact that he has direct association with the PPP/C which has openly expressed its position on Lowenfield and Myers.
Mr. Hughes pointed out that Mr. Datadin is a sitting Member of Parliament for a political party in a case that will clearly have political consequences and he, therefore, cannot be expected to execute his job as prosecutor in a fair manner.
“We have pointed out that the duty of a prosecutor is to be fair and the provisions of the Legal Practitioners Act oblige prosecutors to be fair. All prosecutors have an obligation to disclose information which may be favorable to a defendant. The appointment of a sitting government MP may create the appearance of bias and conflict with the professional obligations imposed on a prosecutor and consequently adversely impact the right to a fair hearing,” Mr. Hughes said.
He explained that Rule 13 Part v of the Legal Practitioners Act states ”when an attorney-at-Law is engaged as a prosecutor, his prime duty is not to seek to convict, but to place the facts dispassionate before the Court.”
Mr. Hughes says failure of the DPP to withdraw the Member of Parliament from the case could result in a request for a review of her actions.
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