Lawyer Parnell R. Campbell, QC, can be humorous about whether the three new charges against Senator Vynnette Frederick were in a fridge, Director of Public Prosecution, Colin Williams, says.
But as far as the DPP is concerned, what matters is that the charges were laid.
“The fact is that they are laid now. So what?” Williams told journalists on Wednesday.
“Are they saying they could tell us when to lay a charge? … So what is the problem? Let them be humorous,” he said.
He was responding to comments from Campbell, a former attorney general, and the Bar Association, regarding three fresh charges, in addition to six that a magistrate threw out, that were brought against the opposition senator on July 11.
Frederick returns to court on Wednesday in connection with the nine charges, relating to false declarations, swearing falsely, and fabricating evidence.
Campbell, speaking on his weekly television programme Monday, asked why the three charges were not laid when Frederick was originally charged with six counts of perjury last year.
But Williams suggested that some of the persons commenting on the new charges might be “looking at their own self interest”.
“So when they talk about today for Miss Frederick, tomorrow for me, because there might be others who contributed to Miss Frederick doing that who are looking at their own self interest,” he said.
Asked if he plans to pursue those persons, Williams said, “I am just saying it could be enlightened self interest when you hear people talking about these things.”
Meanwhile, Kay Bacchus-Browne, immediate past president of the Bar Association, speaking at a Bar Association press conference on Wednesday, also questioned the origin of the three new charges.
Bacchus-Browne was a lawyer for Frederick but is now supposed to be a witness in the case.
She said she cannot understand how out of the same facts three additional charges were proffered.
“I am sure they know the law says she was put in jeopardy for the exact same three charges that they have added, because you can always convict someone of an offence that would have arisen out of the facts. So, to me, again, that is an abuse; that is an abuse of process,” she said.
“Were they reserving the charges to slap them on her later? For whatever reason would you add the more serious charges? Are you playing with the liberty of a subject or playing games that you reserve the more serious of the charges for a later date? That befuddles my mind,” Bacchus-Browne said.
Vice-President of the Bar Association, Jomo Thomas, speaking at the same press conference, also questioned the manner in which the new charges were laid.
He, however, said that to the extent that the authorities feel Frederick has a case to answer she should answer it.
Bacchus Browne, however, said she believes the charges “are not going anywhere in the final analysis”.