Advertisement 87
Advertisement 211
John's lawyer, Kay Bacchus-Baptiste. (iWN file photo)
John’s lawyer, Kay Bacchus-Baptiste. (iWN file photo)
Advertisement 219

While Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves says people should “just keep their mouth shut a bit” about the shooting of a businessman allegedly in the presence of a senator and a prosecutor, the victim’s lawyer says it is a case that all Vincentians should be talking about.

“Well, the Christian Council pick and choose what they should weigh in on. I find the Christian Council is quite inactive in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” Kay Bacchus-Baptiste, the lawyer for the shooting victim, Cornelius John, 60, of Diamond Estate, said on Hot 97 FM on Wednesday.

She said she agreed that the issue is one that the Human Rights Association should also comment on.

“… the Bar Association, should also say something. In fact, every living breathing Vincentian should have something to say on this, because it is an issue that impinges on the rule of law and the proper administration of justice,” Bacchus-Baptiste said.

“If this were to go down like this, as it is going, you realise that any ULP (Unity Labour Party) person can do anything and get away with it and be justified.

Advertisement 271

“This is a serious, serious attack on justice and the fair administration of justice. Had the prime minister shut his bloody mouth and not say what he said yesterday, I wouldn’t have been able to put that as clear as this.

“But when he opened his mouth and justified what happened without one word of sympathy or anything for the victim, I am amazed at where will this all end. There is no end to what can happen,” the lawyer said.

John told iWitness News he was shot in the left leg in his patio on April 13, after an interaction with three persons he had called out to after seeing them on his property.

(See video below)

He said that before shooting him, one of the two men in the group had asked him, “You want to kill the senator?”

Commissioner of Police Colin John told iWitness News, on Wednesday, that Assistant Director of Public Prosecution, Karim Nelson and government senator and Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly, Ashelle Morgan, a lawyer, are “persons of interest” in the investigation.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, speaking on the state-owned NBC Radio, urged people not to run with one side of the story “as though it is the unvarnished truth and the unvarnished facts”.

He said that the hope, “for their sake, they don’t run into problems with the law of defamation”.

The prime minister suggested that were it a support of the opposition New Democratic Party involved, the argument would have been that the shooter was acting in defence of women, amidst high incidences of violence against women in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Karim Nelson Ashelle Morgan
Assistant DIrector of Public Prosecution, Karim Nelson, left, and Senator Ashelle Morgan, are “persons of interest” in the investigation, Commissioner of Police Colin John, told iWitness News on Wednesday.

However, Bacchus-Baptiste called for charges to be brought in relation to the shooting, saying she had written to Gonsalves — who is minister of legal affairs and national security — as well as the police chief.

“I am writing, primarily, the Commissioner of Police, and I wait to see whether he will take steps very soon to bring these people to justice. If not, then I would have to go down the road of the private criminal action and let the DPP refuse the fiat,” she said.

Some years ago, the Gonsalves government changed the law so that a person who wants to bring a private criminal complaint against another has to get the permission of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to do so.

Bacchus-Baptiste described as a “farce”, comments by the prime minister that the investigation is on-going.

“What about the witnesses who were present? I have asked the issue because there is a very reliable independent witness who the police is aware of and they have not taken a statement from this witness from since the 13th of [April]. How can you be investigating a matter actively? They are not…

“You can always say it, but, actively, why haven’t they taken a statement from the witness who was there, a neighbour, up to now? Why? How can you just tell me that the investigation is on-going?”

The lawyer suggested that Morgan and Nelson should stand down from their positions until the matter is disposed of.

“I think all persons, even if it was just moral law, must stand down, under certain circumstances, including prime ministers who are accused of rape and these things, you should stand down, but it doesn’t happen in St. Vincent. St. Vincent is a special place. Senator Morgan should be relieved of her post until the matter is completed,” Bacchus-Baptiste said.

20 replies on “All Vincentians should speak out on shooting case — lawyer”

  1. Gunslaves got all you going, truth be told all roads lead back to the same place. Now if people can stand for that somethings serious is exposed here, something criminal right in line with the known wutliss MO.Tek fo instance ms Y. F. if that seemed like ‘commes’ and melee to you. I wonder why? Dis ya a sum seriously dis turbin sh*t. Yo cjan’t mek it up. Dem who na walk a fly inna the Babylon system. This is wrong on all levels. This is unfair to the wider population, the constitution and the rule of law. (Pax et Justitia must be in tears all now so). Ayo ain ga no sjame. This what it come to?

  2. Carl Naylor says:

    Let’s all be honest if you think its a fair system here and not corrupt in places you have to be blind or just stupid, around the world is no different but here its all about who you know and how high up in the pecking order, Some of the cases they seem to rush to court are ridiculous where other serious offences sit there for years..Come on my people even if you are not so well educated speak the so called queens English we must have at least some common sense or is it we still within the slave mentality that we still saying yes master ???? Wrong is wrong regardless of who you are or your so called status. Let’s stop being followers and start to lead and not be led pick sense from nonsense, maybe its just me being Dotishhhhh ???

  3. Hashtag Prince says:

    The Senator should be asked to resign.
    This “thug-life” visit to Mr. John sets a bad precedence for the youth of SVG.
    The Assistant DPP should hand in his resignation…
    They are both poor examples of mandated citizens.
    They are vigilantes hiding behind the Public Pay Roll.
    FIRE DEM NOW!!!!

  4. Percival Thomas says:

    It seems to me Vincentians protest very little against wrong doings. They just accept bad things happening in SVG. And some Vincentians think they have good leadership at the head of the country. They have poor leadership.

  5. Nathan Jolly Green says:

    The people should take to the streets in peaceful demonstrations. The people should picket the chief of police and the prime minister with written cards. Go to their places of work, their places of leisure and their homes. Picket them everywhere, do not stop until this matter is resolved and people charged.

    The Governor General can remove the DPP guy she has the authority to do that. Remove them all from their jobs until the matter is resolved.

    He is a turd big enough to go rafting on, this has happened before you know.

  6. Kenton my friend read the second paragraph and tell me if it makes sense? You are clearly mixing up the subjects.

  7. Dem ain go like kay enuh..but ah love she, because she doh fraud fo talk and she giving it to yo raw,she don’t cater for your position and your ranks, Ms. Bacchus will hit you where it hurts…And I agree with her word for word, top to bottom.. is only right

  8. Agustas Carr says:

    I don’t have the facts but all firearm related offenses must be treated very seriously. This matter should not be political pawn but a simple fact consistent with the rule of law.

    There are too many firearm related incidents in SVG. A few years ago, I wrote about the proliferation of guns in SVG being linked to the drug trade but most persons tend to be very dismissive of matters relating to drugs. We have become very sympathetic and accepting towards drug dealers but fail to see the real implications of tolerating them.

    This case should be judged on its own merit. If the Prosecutor and the Senator are implicated let the the chips fall where they belong. The Commissioner of Police must update the public on the progress of the investigation.

    Time to move away from the Commissioner and the DPP being appointed by the Public Service Commission and Prime Minister respectively. The DPP and the Commissioner should be elected to serve similar to the arrangements for Sheriffs in the USA.

    SVG needs an independent Prosecution Service and Police Force. There is absolutely no accountability.

  9. gilbertsnuts says:

    Because of the way the PM is behaving and talking on this matter I regard him as being an accessory to the whole thing, it is as if he pulled the trigger himself.

  10. Sanford Charles says:

    Me Sanford Charles enjoy Rubbing up Ralph cannot handle the one.
    Ralph Gonsalves knows the Auditors will be in the Courts listening.
    CWSA and VINLEC have services on the Forged Deed 596/2008
    Who was paying the “” Stone Mill I Layou and the Trucks who who was dumping Stones for the 16 feet concrete road.

  11. This is very disturbing , I also listen the pm telling people to silent about this and shockingly [suggesting this was done] in the name of defending woman abuse,,,sick!

  12. Ddiploblogga says:

    Let’s hear the outcome of the investigation. Commissioner of Police, please we need to hear from you. By this week is good time. if the accused are guilty then….so be it.

    Plenty people frightened…

  13. gilbertsnuts says:

    Dear DDIPLOBLOGGA, this is already settled, these people will never stand trial, it has been dynasty decided, and she is pretty, so the dynasty fly’s will hover. A little fresh meat goes a long way with a hungry pack.

  14. I never thought I would ever agree with Mrs. Kay Bacchus- Baptiste. However, as a Vincentian I fully support her on this matter. I think every Vincentian should too. If these allegations are true and the people involved are the ones who committed this heinous crime on Mr. John, they must be held accountable for their actions. I was appalled when the Prime Minister commented on this matter and the language used by Ralph Gonsalves, who is also the Minister of national security. My response was, “Wow!!!, are you condoning violence Mr. PM?” You cannot allow people who think they are invincible to trespass on people’s property and perpetrate brazen acts of crime. Is this the message you are sending to the public Gonsalves? This is not acceptable!
    Mr. Prime Minister, you asking Vincentians to stay silent on wrongdoing?
    Who was the abused woman, the alleged accusers that are being stood up for? What happened to all the women who are being abused every day in St Vincent and the Grenadines physically with guns, hammers or anything their husband’s or common-law husbands can get their hands on to inflict pain, scars, trauma and in so many fatalities? Let us not forget those who have been sexually abused across the country, young and middle age girls, kids and even our elderly. Why hasn’t these women activist stood up for them?
    What happen to the police? Have you eliminated the police force? They are the ones who have taken the oath to serve and to protect, this is not a civilian job.
    As the leader of the country the right thing to do is to relieve both alleged accusers from their post.
    Why did the alleged perpetrators file a cross -complain If they have nothing to do with this crime? you only file a cross complain whenever you are a defendant and doing so, you cannot be arrested by the police. Just a question, was this legal advice given to the alleged defendants by the Prime Minister since his former post was a (LAWYER)? who seems to know more than what he is telling us. He told the public he spoke to the senator after the incident.
    As a concerned citizen I will be watching and listening for the outcome of this lawlessness. Vincentians it is time for all of us to stand together and let our voices be heard, for too long we have been silenced and allowing these malfeasance conduct to slip through the cracks. When will enough be enough, before you protect your rights under the Constitution of Vincent and the Grenadines? This is about all of us, as my parents use to say, “today is for Mr. John. Who is next Tomorrow it maybe you, you never know?” My Question too you, are you waiting until it happens to you before you speak up? That day may be too late. DO IT NOW!!!

  15. Small world do you know Cornelius John is related to Collin John? They are related by the mothers side. They are basically from the WSG community. Tilton who ia now deceased was Cornelius Brother and is ralated to the Commissioner. He subsequently relocated to tje Diamond estates.

  16. Take warning says:

    What kind of example , signal, these people are sending to the young people? Don’t blame the young people anymore, they need good role models., We need people with good moral, and intergrity. We vincentians were so ashamed when we were heckled by our colleagues iwhile at work in a developed country, thst we are from the small island where the PM has been accused of rape. Very shameful,

  17. The message from the comrade to Vincentians is quite simple. You win the elections by any means necessary fraud, bribes, intimidation, Machiavelli style. After that you and your psycopans can anything you please and be accountable no one. What can voting cattle do in a democracy?? Under our present democracy winning an election bestows all power, that is control of the treasury, the police, the courts, the jobs and even the life of the individual citizens as in the case of Mr. John. That is the perversion of democracy in SVG, comrade style for the last twenty years.

Comments closed.