President Donald Ramotar must fire Shalimar Ali-Hack the Director of Public Prosecutions
From the Diaspora… FIRE THIS DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS NOW
By Ralph Seeram
On my recent visit to Guyana, I made it a point to question some fellow Guyanese on their thoughts on justice in Guyana. It was certainly not a scientific survey, but never the less I came away with the distinct impression that generally they have no confidence in the Judiciary, do not trust the Police and have a very low opinion of the Director of Public Prosecutions Shalimar Ali-Hack.
This kind of public perception is not healthy for the Rule of Law. The Police, Judiciary and the office of the DPP are the main institutions in the implementation and observance of the Rule of law.
Public perception seemed to be that there is a double standard when it comes to implementation of justice in Guyana. As one person told me “It is who you know and money talks”. It is no secret that most Guyanese felt that the Jagdeo Government was corrupt.
The new President Donald Ramotar promised to root out corruption. He certainly did not make a good start when he retained some Ministers who the public perceived as corrupt. True, he did take initiatives to restore some confidence, like bringing outside investigators for the Commissioner of Police – Greene’s sex accusation case.
If the President wants to regain public confidence in the justice system in Guyana he can start by firing the incumbent Director of Public Prosecutions. In fact, I was surprised he retained her considering the many accusations against the DPP’s office.
I am yet to see any “big drug baron” prosecuted. Despite the intense expose in Kaieteur News of corruption in the Jagdeo regime, did we see any government official charged? The DPP did find the time to “hang” charges against three former NBS senior managers. The matter ran for over two years and was dismissed because in the first place there was not really any case against them. Rumour was that it was a politically motivated case.
One can go on to point out more instances of selective prosecution by the DPP office. However actions by the DPP in the ongoing sex scandal involving an Islamic Cleric, who is accused so far or raping nine young boys, necessitate the removal of Shalimar Ali-Hack from that office immediately.
I am sure most Guyanese believe the police, when they said someone from the DPP’s office intervened when the Cleric was arrested. I don’t know how much credence the public put in the statement by Shalimar Ali-Hack that she did not make the call.
Even if you want to give her the benefit of the doubt, did she make any effort to see if anyone from her office tried to subvert the course of justice? Was any inquiry made to ascertain who made the call? There is no question that the DPP and her husband have a very close relationship with the Central Islamic Organization of Guyana (CIOG), the employer of the Cleric.
She may know or even interacted with the individual, and as such she should have indicated that she would recuse herself from the matter. Did she do that? And what is all this back and forth nonsense between her and the police about who can bring charges against this accused child molester.
Any other “John Public” would have been charged and given no bail already. Why is this child molester running around free when strong medical evidence has emerged that some of these boys have been raped anally.
I am also incensed at the media for not publishing the perpetrator’s name. Why is he also being protected by the press? Publish his name. To use the press motto, the public has a right to know. Do we know if he is Guyanese or a foreigner?
Next you might hear he is out of the jurisdiction. He also needs to be incarcerated for his own safety. There are quite a few very disturbed and angry fathers out there that would like to get their hands on him.
I will tell you the truth, if that had happened to my son, that so called cleric would have been in very great danger for his life and I am sure that thought must be passing through the minds of the victims’ parents.
If President Donald Ramotar is really serious about restoring Guyanese confidence in the justice system, he can start by dismissing Shalimar Ali-Hack, and replace her not with a “political hack” no pun intended, but with someone who will bring integrity, efficiency and impartiality to the Office of the DPP, an attorney who will not bow to the dictates of politicians, nor to the rich and powerful.
That’s not much for the people to ask. Think about it Mr. President.