The prosecution, today (Wednesday), withdrew the wounding charge against Annamay Lewis, the woman who was accused of striking Prime Minister Gonsalves in the head on Aug. 5 during a protest in Kingstown.
“Hallelujah! Weeping may endure for a night but joy this morning. God is a good god. He never give we a spirit of fear. Thank you Jesus,” Lewis said after exiting the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court.
Flanked by former ambassador under Gonsalves’ Unity Labour Party administration, Doris Charles, who has called for the 75-year-old leader to demit office, Lewis quoted Exodus 14 as saying God will fight for her rights.
“I know the God that I serve. I know the god I am going to. I know the God I am calling upon. Thank you, Jesus. He said in Exodus he would fight for Annamay, and, this morning, here I am,” Lewis said.
The withdrawal of the charge came one day after Lewis’ lawyers, Kay Bacchus-Baptiste and Israel Bruce, “predicted” that the prosecution would take that course of action.
“I think this underscores the point I have been making all along that these cases, including all the cases they have brought recently against the protesters, are political cases,” Bacchus-Baptiste told iWitness News after Wednesday’s court hearing.
“The police is busy using their time watching videotapes and trying to find evidence to arrest protesters rather than doing the business of solving real crime,” she said.
“It is very disheartening to have the head of CID being involved in her arrest and … and then the charge is dismissed.”
The investigation was led by the nation’s chief detective, head of the Criminal Investigation Department, Superintendent of Police Clauston Francis.
Crown Counsel Renee Simmons withdrew the wounding charge against Lewis when the matter came up for trial at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court.
This means that Lewis, a 56-year-old vendor, of Layou, would only now be tried on a charge that on Aug. 5, in Kingstown, in a public place, to wit White Chapel Road, she threw missiles to the danger of persons who were present.
Simmons told the court that she was not ready for trial in the remaining matter and asked for an adjournment.
Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett set the trial for Jan. 4, 2022.
Bacchus-Baptiste asked the court to order disclosure of a “confession” that Lewis reportedly signed after she was taken into custody and while her lawyer was trying to find out where police had taken her.
The prosecution said that she would have to speak to her superiors and get back to the defence team.
The lawyer told iWitness News that the “confession” would have implications for the remaining charge against her client.
“Their game plan was to force Annamay into a forced confession then take her to apologise to the prime minister,” Bacchus-Baptiste said of the police.
She further noted that Gonsalves, speaking from Barbados where he went for medical attention after the injury to his head, said that he had the evidence about who was behind the assault and that the nation would hear about it.
Bacchus-Baptiste further said that the prime minister has said that he held Leader of the Opposition, Godwin Friday, personally responsible for his injury.
“When a prime minister can make these statements about the leader of the opposition and don’t follow up and then the case against the woman is dropped, Vincentians have to stop and wonder what is going on,” Bacchus-Baptiste said.
The lawyer said that police had tried twice to get Lewis to go to Gonsalves and “confess” to striking him.
She said that they did so on Aug. 5 after arresting her late in the night and then on tAug. 6, when Gonsalves was initially scheduled to return home.
Bacchus-Baptiste said that when she went to the Criminal Investigation Department in Kingstown on Aug. 6, police were getting Lewis ready to go to the airport to meet with Gonsalves and she stopped them.