Cornelius John, who was shot at his home on April 13, then charged with threatening a government senator, was “lynched twice” says Daniel Cummings, chairman of the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP).
Karim Nelson, an assistant director of public Prosecution, and government senator Ashelle Morgan, a lawyer, were this month acquitted on charges related to the shooting.
“And I heard people who have legal training say that justice was not served. In my humble opinion, that is putting it mildly. Cornelius John was lynched twice, in my humble opinion. He was lynched in his home and he was lynched in the court system,” Cummings, who is also MP for West Kingstown, said on his party’s radio programme, New Times, on NICE Radio, on Tuesday.
Morgan and Nelson were freed after Magistrate Bertie Pompey upheld no case submissions by their lawyers, after six days of hearing evidence.
The prosecutor, S. Stephen Brette, deputy director of public prosecution in St. Lucia, who was specially contracted to prosecute the case, failed to adduce evidence placing Nelson at the scene of the shooting.
The court found that John was not a credible witness and disbelieved his evidence and ruled that a case had not been made out against Morgan, who is also deputy speaker of the House of Assembly.
Cummings said that what transpired in the trail was a “serious miscarriage of justice”.
“I cannot imagine a case more dramatically wrongly pursued than this particular one. I wish to thank iWitness News for enlightening St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the world about how justice is dispensed in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” he said.
Cummings asked why a local lawyer was not put alongside Brette to prosecute the case.
“When a person comes into the jurisdiction — again, I am not a lawyer, but I have matters before the court and I have experience where you have an outside lawyer and you have local lawyers working with them.
“And that’s a very important bridging gap to play, to acquaint the outside lawyers with a number of things germane to the local court environment.
“Why did the DPP recuse herself from this matter and then is apparently available to show up for the prosecution of Cornelius John?”
John was charged with using threatening language against Morgan, but last Friday, the investigating officer, detective Corporal Henry Hoyte told the court that Morgan had told him that she had no further interest in the matter.
The charge against John was, therefore, dismissed.
“I am asking these questions. I am lost. It just doesn’t make sense to me that justice is being served in this country. And I submit that Cornelius John, in my opinion, was lynched in his home and he was lynched in the justice system.
“And, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, he is a supporter of the ULP, tooth and nail, and if they can do that to him, ask yourself what they wouldn’t do to you. May God bless us. May God save St. Vincent and Grenadines from this demonic situation; because it is, indeed, plagued with demons of many kinds.