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DOMINICA-CRIME-Police say they uncover a plot to burn down the city of Roseau

by STAFF WRITER

ROSEAU, Dominica, Feb 23, CMC – Police say they have uncovered a plot to cause unrest in the country during a protest meeting and march organized by the main opposition United Workers Party (UWP) on Sunday.

Acting Police Commissioner Davidson Valerie said the plot involves “people believed to be associated with the meeting to commit lawlessness and create violence during the meeting.

“Some of the threats are to procure gasoline to burn the city of Roseau. There is also a threat to create an island-wide blackout to facilitate the commission of illegal acts against persons, including the Minister of National Security (Rayburn Blackmoore),: the acting police chief said.

Valerie said that in the interest of national security, he met with two of the organisers of the meeting, including the former opposition leader, Lennox Linton, expressing his concern “regarding the inciteful comments being disseminated on social media by groups of persons believed to be associated with the meeting.

“I want to take this opportunity to state categorically there will be no tolerance of any form of unlawlessness. The Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force is prepared to intervene and deal with anyone who engages in any form of disorder or lawlessness,” he warned.

The UWP is staging the activity one day before Linton is due in a magistrate’s court on a charge of incitement stemming from an incident on February 7, 2017, when the party held a meeting in the capital for the resignation of Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.

Following the meeting, several businesses in the city were vandalized and charges were brought against Linton,  former prime minister Edison James and economist and current UWP leader, Dr. Thompson Fontaine.

Charges were also laid against former UWP deputy political leader, Joshua Francis, along with Nicholas George and former UWP legislator now Speaker of the House of Assembly, Joseph Isaac, who was charged with obstruction of justice.

While the matter against Francis, George, and Isaac has been adjourned sine die, Linton, Fontaine, and James are still before the courts.

Last Friday, James was released on EC$50,000 (One EC dollar=US$0. 37 cents)  bail after spending an estimated  20 minutes in a holding cell in a magistrate’s court after he was committed to stand trial at the High Court on a charge of incitement.

James then urged supporters to attend the march and meeting on Sunday and to come in their numbers.

“I am appealing to Dominicans let us understand where we are. Today it is me. It will be you tomorrow. Stop this thing now. There is a call for people to be out on the 25th … We don’t have six billion (people)  in Dominica, but let us get as close to that as possible.

“This is not a matter of we fighting down Skerrit …we are fighting for Dominica,” James added.

The prosecution in the cases against the opposition politicians is led by the Trinidad-based criminal attorneys Israel Khan and Keith Scotland.

Blackmoore said that despite the plot being uncovered, permission is being granted to the opposition party to stage its activity in the capital on Sunday.

He said that the Public Order Act provides for the Minister responsible for National Security to exercise “certain authority in the interest of public peace and public order”.

He said the legislation also provides for the minister to prohibit the holding of any public meeting whether in a specific locality or within the entire country.

Blackmoore said he has been briefed by the acting top cop and “I have in my possession certain credible intelligence that speaks to the intention of some who belong to the same political party or eco-system of the United Workers Party.

“I believe that the majority of the supporters of the United Workers Party are good people and do not share the same radical views as those who are seeking to create an environment of lawlessness in this beautiful country.”

Blackmoore said having considered all the ramifications, he does not believe nor is he inclined to invoke the Public Order Act to prohibit the public meeting.

“I am confident therefore that the police will act to ensure that anyone, who violates the law will be dealt with quickly and swiftly,” he said, adding he joins with the police in calling on the organisers of the meeting to publicly condemn the planned violence.

“The organisers from what I have been advised of this meeting have been instructed by the acting chief of police to make a public statement denouncing any attempt by anyone attending or associated with that meeting to violence or violent behaviour.

“We are awaiting to hear that pronouncement,” he said.

CMC/cjb/ir/2024

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3 COMMENTS

  1. I believe anybody who believes this bunch of hogwash must be stupid!
    You see in Dominica there’s a statue of limitation, a six year statue, meaning after six years the case must discontinue.
    In the matter involving James, and Fountain and others the statute of limitations has elapsed; hence the Roosevelt cabal needs to find a reason to arrest and harass the opposition party!
    Dominicans need to halt this continuing entropy, by getting rid of Roosevelt.

  2. I don’t believe this for one minute. I suspect that the cabal is trying it’s best to dissuade people from turning up en masse which would be reported as dissatisfaction with the ruling elite. Therefore with the help of the compromised police they are trying to once again tarnish the opposition. Individuals are free to do what they want in life and it might not have anything to do with the organizations they are a part of. When the Labor cabal held it’s mobilization rally in Antigua, had a few Dominican citizens decided to commit atrocities in Antigua would the Antigua police then accuse Dominica Labor party of being a party to whatever criminal activities occurred? No!. The Individuals would have been arrested and arraigned on their own. I don’t buy what the police is selling.

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