Richards speaks to the press after police release UWP's Sandford
Richards speaks to the press after police release UWP's Sandford

Daniel Carbon, the Police Commissioner has invited seven members of the opposition United Workers Party (UWP) to attend an interview at Police Headquarters. But they have all said thanks but no thanks.

Carbon wrote the letters on March 27, 2017 asking the politicians to come to police headquarters on April 4 or 5, 2017 for interviews as "possible witnesses" in relation to the public disturbance that occurred following a public meeting on Tuesday February 7, 2017.

The recipients of Carbon's letter are Opposition leader Lennox Linton; Roseau Central MP Joseph Isaac; Roseau North MP Daniel Lugay; Salisbury MP Hector John; Wesley MP Ezekiel Bazil; PRO Nicholas George and Senator Dr. Thomson Fontaine.

They all responded to the Police Chief in a letter dated March 30, 2017 from their lawyer J. Gildon Richards who described the invitation from Chief Carbon as "a patent act of provocation" influenced by persons at the highest levels of the State.

After the 7 February 2017 disturbances, the police arrested and questioned a number of persons involved in the planning and execution of a meeting held on Kennedy Avenue near Government Headquarters. A few hours after that meeting ended roaming youth vandalized and burnt a number of businesses in Roseau. Soon afterwards Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, in an address to the nation, claimed that the UWP and other opposition forces had planned a coup. The police has been attempting to find evidence to support Mr. Skerrit's accusation and hence Carbon's letters.

In his response Richards said: "My clients are amazed that you and your handlers after falsely and maliciously accusing them of conspiracy to commit treason, subversion and other grave criminal misconduct inclusive of involvement in the very events to which you refer, now request from them interviews for witness statements for use in your partisan influenced prosecutorial vendetta against them."

The letter continued: "Unless, you now inform my client in writing, that you and your handlers have withdrawn your said allegations for the reason that they are baseless, then you have given my clients good reason to believe that you maintain against them, your suspicion and accusation of treason, subversion and or conspiracy to subvert, aiding and or abetting in the disturbance to which you refer. You must then fully understand that my clients have no duty public or otherwise to assist you towards their prosecution. You have given them good reason to believe that, that which you have done to some, you intend to do to all."

Richards said that the request for the interview falls far short of the high levels of professionalism which the chief of police must show.

"They find it exceptionally imprudent that you now request from them interviews for witness statements with a view to their eventual malicious prosecution," he said. Richards concluded: "I am instructed to inform you and you are hereby informed, that my clients will not attend at Police headquarters for your stated purpose, either on the dates specified in your letter or at all".