Luncheon must testify to magistrates' corruption
Stabroek News
February 8, 2002

Attorney-at-law Raphael Trotman yesterday described a statement made by Cabinet Secretary, Dr Roger Luncheon, earlier this week about corrupt magistrates in Guyana's court system as an "unfortunate" one.

Dr Luncheon's statement was made on Monday following his announcement of pay hikes for state counsel and members of the magistracy. He had said that cabinet was "not unmindful of the view that the poor work ethic and the corrupt practices uncovered in the magistracy are probably related to the issue or poor remuneration."

Trotman, speaking at a PNC/R press conference yesterday, said that it was the duty of the cabinet secretary, if he had evidence that magistrates were corrupt, to appear before an enquiry and testify.

He said that for Dr Luncheon to make such a statement was beyond unfortunate and pointed out that he should not sit like a judge at the Office of the President as finder of facts. He stated that the PNC/R would welcome an enquiry into the magistracy if it were found that any magistrate was corrupt. But that enquiry must be transparent and persons must be given an opportunity to defend themselves.

Trotman, a colleague of his, Vic Puran, acting Chief Magistrate, Juliet Holder-Allen, and a group of women calling themselves concerned Guyanese, had on Tuesday protested the statement made by Luncheon.