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GUYANA | Hughes issues Nov. 3 deadline for DPP to withdraw MP as prosecutor in election case

  • Written by Wiredja.com- Calvin G. Brown
  • Published in Justice
Featured Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Shalimar Ali-Hack, S.C.appointed PPP Member of Parliament to prosecute the case against the staff of the Guyana Electoral Commission Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Shalimar Ali-Hack, S.C.appointed PPP Member of Parliament to prosecute the case against the staff of the Guyana Electoral Commission
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, October 31, 2020 - Attorney at law Nigel Hughes, has given Guyana’s Director of Public Prosecution, Shalimar Ali-Hack, S.C., until November 3 to revoke the Fiat issued to PPP member of parliament Sanjeev Datadin to present and prosecute the cases against his clients  Keith Lowenfield and Roxanne Myers, Chief and Deputy Election Officers of the Guyana Election Commission.

“We regret the necessity to inform you that in the absence of a response by the 3rd November 2020 our instructions are to commence legal proceedings,” says Hughes’ brief letter to the Director of Public Prosecution, who was yet to respond to his letter of October 25, requesting that the member of parliament be withdrawn from prosecuting the case as a result of Mr. Datadin's hostility to his clients.

nigel hughes 350
Attorney at law Nigel Hughes issues ultimatum to DPP

In his original letter to the DPP, Hughes pointed out that “you have recommended and instituted charges against our clients in relation to the discharge of their official functions in relation to the General and Regional Elections 2020. The substance of the allegations against our clients is highly political both content and in consequence.”

It is in light of this that he has asked that the assignment of the Peoples Progressive Party MP Sanjeev Datadin to lead the presentation and prosecution of the case against his clients would be highly prejudicial.

“We invite your attention to Rule VII 13 of the Code of Conduct set out in the Fourth Schedule of the Legal Practitioners  (Amendment Act ) 2010 and the general obligations imposed on you as  the Director of Public Prosecutions.

“For ease of reference Rule VII 13  provides “ When an Attorney at law is engaged as a prosecutor, his prime duty is not to seek to  convict, but to place the facts dispassionately before the Court, and to see that justice is none through a fair trial upon its merits.”

Mr. Hughes outlined to the DPP a litany of questionable utterances made by Datadin against his clients which would prevent him from meeting the requirements of the rule.

sanjeev datadin
Attorney-at-law Sanjeev Datadin, MP

"On the 4th May 2020 Mr. Sanjeev Datadin made the following utterances of an concerning the persons  which you have authorized him to act on your behalf in the prosecution of the same persons.

  1.  “What happens if a polling clerk made an error and did not cross of all the names who voted or was having lunch and missed a name ? How is this to be resolved ? Do we trust Mingo and his gringos to resolve it? Do we expect [Chief Elections Officer, Keith] Lowenfield and [Deputy Chief Elections Officer, Roxanne] Meyers to get an attack of morality and resolve it fairly ? “
  2. “The will of the Guyanese people remains hostage to the actions of the Region Four Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo, whose declaration of votes for that region was found to be null and void. The situation is further compounded by the “inability” of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to “sensibly resolve chaos caused by his actions”.
  3. “More than 2 months later our electoral body, GECOM, after spending more than $8 billion to ensure a free, fair and transparent election was undermined by A Returning Officer, Mingo, determined to declare fantasy numbers. The money spent, the presence of international and local observers, the diplomatic corps and a Court Order didn’t stop him”,
  4. The marshall came to effect service of the orders…The Deputy CEO has been saying that no one is allowed in to serve any orders. That is, of course, contrary to the law. A marshal is permitted to go anywhere and serve an order that a judge has granted. They can’t be stopped, or restrained or interfered with in the execution of their duty.”

Mr. Hughes pointed out “that Mr. Sanjeev Datadin M.P is a sitting member of the National Assembly who campaigned for the People’s Progressive Party, who, in addition to the above statements has made several public statements in which he has accessed our clients as acting for the benefit of or being part of his political opponents the APNU+ AFC.”

He concluded by noting that “we are of the opinion that the appointment of Mr. Datadin to act on your behalf and discharge your responsibilities in the prosecution of the matters against our clients has placed him in a conflict position between his vaunted  political views and the discharge of his obligations to dispassionately present the case to ensure a fair trial ensues.”

Last modified onSunday, 01 November 2020 08:22
  • Countries: Guyana