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HomeBreaking NewsUPDATE-DPP discontinues incitement case against Hector John

UPDATE-DPP discontinues incitement case against Hector John

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Sherma Dalrymple has filed a notice of “discontinuance” under the provisions of section 72 (c) of the Dominica Constitution.

John, the former Salisbury MP was arrested and charged by the police, for that on September 6, 2019, at Lagoon, Independence Street Roseau, making certain comments to “incite civil unrest in Dominica.”

His lawyer Gildon Richards had made certain submissions to the court, stating that “there was no evidence on which to charge his client and that the charge against him should be dismissed.”

However, while he was awaiting the court ruling on the matter, the DPP filed a notice of “discontinuance” dated February 23, 2024.

The Magistrate then informed John that the DPP had filed a notice of “Discontinuance in the matter against him and that he was free to go.”

According to the charge, John, 53, who served as opposition leader between 2010 and 2014,  had urged supporters of the main opposition United Workers Party (UWP) to demand that Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit should not consider calling general elections without electoral reform among other concerns.

“You will have civil unrest on your hands,” John, who was first elected to parliament in 2009, said according to the charge that had been read out in court.

But the DPP told the court Friday that in accordance with the Dominica Constitution, she was discontinuing the proceedings.

However, John’s attorney, Gildon Richards, said that the court had been unfair to his client.

Speaking to reporters after the matter was discontinued, he said he had earlier made  a no-case submission before the Magistrate

“My client was arrested in September 2019, we appeared before the magistrate and I subsequently filed submissions that there was no case for him to answer in June 2020.”

Richards said the then-DPP Evaline Baptiste, filed a submission in response in July 2020.

“We have been going up and down, in and out of the court before Mr (Magistrate Michael) Laudat for more than three years awaiting his decision on my submission

Richards said on February 15 this year “We appeared in expectation of receiving his decision. He informed us that since Mr. Keith Scotland (prosecutor) from Trinidad and Tobago, who had carriage of the matter by way of DPP fiat was not present, he adjourned the matter for today.

“We appeared this morning only to be handed a notice of discontinuance by the Director of Public Prosecution,” Richards said, adding “It is the proper decorum of the courts that when you have counsel representing both sides, if he addresses one side he should address the other side.

“That is the proper standard. Mr Laudat read the discontinuance and turned to my client directly and told my client that the matter was discontinued so he is free to go.I asked the magistrate to address the court, but the magistrate refused my request.”

Richards said that he told the magistrate that he believed there was “collusion” between him and the DPP “to stall and literally frustrate victory that my client expected today because we knew all along that he had no case to answer”.

Richards defended his “strong” words about the situation, saying “Words are only strong if they are not warranted…because they are made in pursuit of justice, especially in this case.”

CMC/cjb/ir/2024

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1 COMMENT

  1. What did I just read? Where is the rest of the story? That story is missing gravy. We the readers need some more background.

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