The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Shalimar Ali-Hack yesterday denied that she made a plea bargain with an alleged accomplice in the 2008 Lusignan massacre but acknowledged that he had testified on behalf of the prosecution in the trial of two other accused men.
The chambers released a statement in response to an article published in the February 18th edition of the Stabroek News, in which attorney Nigel Hughes accused the DPP of allowing Dwane Williams to go free as part of a deal for his testimony in the trial of James Anthony Hyles and Mark Royden Williams.
Hughes released a statement to the media on the matter following several public statements by the PPP in relation to his representation of another accused in the trial as well as his relationship with the jury foreman.
However, Ali-Hack described the statements made by Hughes as “false and misleading,” while noting that they were published without first obtaining the DPP’s position. “The DPP categorically states that at no time did the DPP make any plea bargain deal with the witness Dwane Williams,” Ali-Hack said in response.
“Based on the facts from the investigations Dwane Williams was an accomplice. It is an old common law practice to allow an accomplice to an offence to testify for the prosecution. It has always been done in the criminal law practice, and continues to be done. It is a lawful practice with which all criminal law practitioners are quite familiar,” Ali-Hack added.
Hughes said in his statement to the press that a week before the commencement of the trial the charges against Williams were “mysteriously dropped” and he was released.
Ali-Hack contended that the fact that Williams had been charged contradicted Hughes’ claim that he was released without charge.
According to Hughes, under oath during his testimony, Dwane Williams admitted to participating in the Lusignan, Bartica and Lindo Creek massacres, in which some 33 people were killed in total. He said the man, however, was not and will not be prosecuted for any of the murders