Chief Justice (ag) Ian Chang will gave a ruling on whether the police should go ahead and charge Commissioner Henry Greene with rape after reviewing written arguments to be submitted over a 15-day period.
At the end of yesterday’s High Court proceedings Justice Chang repeated that an in-depth analysis of the how the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Shalimar Ali-Hack arrived at her decision was yet to be provided.
He later granted State Prosecutor Naresh Harnanan, who is appearing on behalf of Ali-Hack, ten days to prepare and file his arguments in writing and Greene’s legal team another five days to respond. He will review the arguments on both sides and hand down his decision on a date to be determined.
Earlier this month, a team of lawyers headed by Senior Counsel Rex Mc Kay moved to the court to block the police from charging Greene. Justice Chang granted applications for the DPP’s advice to be temporarily quashed and to temporarily bar the police from instituting the charge against Greene.
Harnanan indicated to the court yesterday that the supplementary affidavit, as promised, had been filed and served about half an hour before the proceedings began. He said the statements used by the DPP to give the advice had been attached to the document.
On the last occasion, Justice Chang had instructed Harnanan to produce those statements.
The attorney told the court that among the statements provided were the three the DPP relied on.
Mc Kay later submitted that on flicking through the statements he noticed that three pages (77, 78 and 79) were missing. After determining that they were present in the copies in possession of the court and Harnanan, copies were quickly made and handed over to Mc Kay.
Mc Kay then sought to draw the court’s attention the credibility of the charge against his client when he suggested that the complainant was close to a senior attorney at the DPP’s chambers. The senior counsel went on to explain that there was a very important link between the case and another two months before in which the woman was accused of extortion. He said he and his defence team are concerned as to why charges were not laid against the woman in that matter even though she had confessed to that crime.
A woman had reported to police that Greene’s accuser had demanded $2 million from her for not showing the media a video of her (the woman) having sex with Greene’s accuser’s husband, which Greene’s accuser took with her cell phone in a hotel room.
The complainant, according to Greene in court documents, went to him for help in getting back her cell phone which was lodged at the Sparendaam Police Station. The extortion incident was said to have taken place in October last year.
According to Mc Kay, a week ago it was discovered that the complainant had a connection to the DPP’s chambers. He said he later wrote to the DPP seeking to confirm or deny that a senior member of her chambers was the Godmother of one of the complainant’s children. To date, he said, he is yet to receive a reply or an acknowledgment of receipt of the letter.
Harnanan, at this point, looked a little confused and submitted that the link to the DPP chambers was a fresh issue. He said what the SC was telling the court was irrelevant.
Later, the judge stated that it was relevant to know what business the woman had going to the commissioner. He then said he would deal with what was before him, noting that after looking at the supplementary affidavit he had clearly noticed that there was no clear analysis by the DPP as to how she arrived at her decision. He said that all she said in her affidavit in answer was that she concluded that there was sufficient evidence.
He said the point of the Nisi Order was to show case why “you have made a decision to charge and that is all we get”.
However, Harnanan said that in paragraph 14 onwards of her affidavit in answer, the DPP did highlight the facts of the case on which she made her conclusion.
He then asked for the opportunity to submit his arguments in relation to law and facts in writing and requested ten days to do so, a time frame that Greene’s legal team though was too long.
“I want an analysis of the DPP’s decision. I called on the DPP to show cause and I expect her to do so in the affidavit,” Justice Chang said before granting Harnanan’s request. Mc Kay then indicated that it would take him five days to respond.
Justice Chang said that at the end of this period he would deliberate on the responses so that “the next time we meet I will give my decision”.
One of Greene’s lawyers, Neil Boston, told reporters outside the courtroom “I cannot speak to the issue” of whether the commissioner would be in court when the decision is handed down.
He said he was very optimistic that the case will go in his client’s favour because “the court has got jurisdiction and there are exceptional circumstances in this case which will justify the order deemed squashed”.
Boston made it clear that the case has nothing to do with the woman’s character but rather whether the DPP’s decision was a good decision, “whether it is reasonable or rational”. Why she went to the commissioner, he pointed out, was not an issue.
The 34-year-old mother of two alleged that she was sexually abused by Greene on the night of November 22, after she had sought his assistance in solving a police matter.
The commissioner proceeded on leave to accommodate the investigation and Assistant Commissioner Brummell was appointed to discharge the responsibilities of commissioner pending the outcome of the matter.
The woman, in the presence of attorney Nigel Hughes, had alleged that after the incident Greene warned her against telling anyone or visiting a medical institution or doctor in connection with the matter.
She said he had called her for several days from a mobile number, which she provided as 699-0870. She further stated that Greene wrote the number on the back of his card and told her that only government officials had knowledge of that number.
The woman said several days after the incident, another senior police officer called her phone and requested that she meet a senior government functionary at the Office of the President to discuss the issue but she declined. She said the police officer told her that she should visit the government functionary alone “with no family or anybody.”
The allegations attracted calls by several groups for Greene to step down immediately so that a probe could be conducted.
Greene later admitted having sex with the woman at a city hotel but said it consensual. He said that after that they drove to a Regent Street location where they bought food before he drove the woman to her East Coast Demerara home.