Wiltshire's back in court again
DDP says Wiltshire's matter is not politically motivated
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Evelina Baptiste has defended the police's decision to reinstate charges against former attorney general Bernard Wiltshire, Nash Mitchell, Kimana James and Harolda Henry who were earlier arrested on charges of passport fraud.
After almost three years following their arrest, the matter was thrown out of court a few weeks ago by a Roseau magistrate for "want of prosecution". However DPP Baptiste explained that, "the file was sent to me and I reviewed the file and advised the police of what I saw in it and as a result they have reinstated the matter."
She continued: "As you well know, the dismissal was a procedural matter and the prosecution can reinstitute. But it can't be done just so, you must take certain matters into consideration such as the nature of the evidence that is disclosed by the statements, how long the matter has been in the system, the availability of witnesses, is the matter of a public interest (that) probably needs ventilating."
But Wiltshire is not amused. He told the press that most reasonable people will feel that "it is an abuse of process to bring back the same charge which the prosecution could not bring forward in three and a half years. This is just another example of how the law is being used to victimize those who are not in the Government's political camp." According to Wiltshire, by bringing up this "old charge again" the prosecution hopes to neutralize any attempt to get redress in the courts for the malicious prosecution to which he has been subjected.
However, Baptiste denies that the reinstatement of the matter was "political motivated."
"I know nothing of it, all I have done is look at the statement on file, as the DPP we are ministers of justice and have to determine matters on a fair and even basis and it has nothing to do with Mr. Wiltshire or any of the defendants in any way. For me it's just a file…if the police are interested in the matter they will bring the file to me but if upon my review I find that the file does have issues that may hinder a successful prosecution then I have to advise accordingly," she said. She added: "It however does not mean that the defendants do not have particular rights in relation to the reinstatement and so they can exercise those particular rights," Baptiste said.
Wiltshire goes on to say that the public know very well that he have stood against the selling of Dominica's passport in circumstances which place the long term security of the people of Dominica at risk.
"Selling citizenships like that is tantamount to selling the country, and it is those who are benefiting from this evil who should be on trial, not those like me who are trying to protect the county against this the danger this poses," he said.
He said: "There needs to be a public enquiry to go more deeply into these matters and to see what part was played by the various Government departments in this bobol and to recommend ways to prevent future abuses as a matter of national security."