It is time for a wide-ranging probe
January 18, 2004
The present protests against the ruling party, if they remain non-violent, can be justified not only on legitimate political grounds, but on moral grounds and in defence of the rule of law.
The only official enjoying immunity from criminal proceedings is the President. The elected official recently accused of condoning and counselling high felonies enjoys no legal immunity under the law.
The diplomats who received the information should pass it on to the Com-missioner of Police and the Director of Public Prosecu-tions. If these officials do not act, or while they are considering it, a citizen is free to lay an appropriate criminal charge against the official, based on legal advice.
If the government denies the accusations, it has a duty of charging the informant Mr. Bacchus with a public mischief and the honourable gentleman should file civil proceedings to protect his reputation. The¬ PNC/R has just revealed that the police are investigating lesser suspects. All will await the next moves from Freedom House.
Any of these courses of action will open the matter¬ and allow the cleansing process to begin. It has to begin somewhere. For my part, I would leave the issue of the elected official's resignation to the Cabinet. It will depend on their degree of comfort with the allegations. They have ignored similar allegations, not in writing, in the past and may have a stomach for such an atmosphere.
One helpful precedent is that of Rabbi Washington, who has handed over by the government he claimed to support.
On similar allegations in 2000 the ruling party overruled the President who had promised an investigation.
Murder¬ will out, whether committed by persons in power or by persons out of power.
It is time not for war, but for a penetrating and wide-ranging probe into the allegations of crime and complicity in crime against the government of the day. Guyanese must ensure¬ that our¬ country no¬ longer remains the political cemetery of the Caribbean regardless of the party in power.