A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) today criticized the ruling of Chief Justice Ian Chang in the matter of the rape allegation against Police Commissioner Henry Greene and the coalition repeated its call for the government to remove Greene from office.
In a statement, APNU said that in renewing the call for Greene to be dismissed it wished to remind that Greene was no longer a constitutional holder of the office of commissioner as he had been kept on past the mandatory retirement age. “… rather he is an employee/servant of the Government and as such he can be removed forthwith. As he continues to occupy the office of Commissioner of Police, Mr. Greene has no more security of tenure than Mr. Freddie Kissoon has had at the University of Guyana.”
APNU said that though Greene might have succeeded in having the rape charge against him blocked the fact that he has admitted to sex with a woman who went to him for help in his official capacity constitutes serious misconduct and should have been met with immediate removal from office.
The statement then differed sharply with the ruling of Justice Chang on Thursday which rebuffed the advice of the DPP for a charge of rape to brought against Greene.
“We strongly disagree with the ruling of the Honourable Chief Justice Ian Chang in this matter but we are confident that, given a recent ruling by the (UK) Privy Council, the Honourable Chief Justice’s decision will be overturned.
“A Partnership for National Unity is constrained to place on record our dismay and disappointment at the several disparaging statements attributed to the Chief Justice on the character of the alleged victim and his apparent lack of sensitivity and knowledge revealed by his statements.
“On the issue of the character of the alleged victim the Honourable Chief Justice’s statement that the alleged victim “had a Blackberry Curve cell phone but yet had no money to feed her children” (SN 30.3/2012) and that she accepted food from the Commissioner of Police after the alleged rape were absolutely irrelevant and must be condemned.
“On the issue of the Chief Justice’s lack of sensitivity he must be aware that progressive countries, recognising that the trial of sexual offences often turns out to be the hardest on the victims, have enacted victim friendly legislation empowering Courts inter alia to hold trials in camera and also forbid the publication of reports of certain details of the alleged act.
“Rather than adhere to these modern principles the Honourable Chief Justice quite happily read to the packed court room and by extension the entire country all the gory details of the alleged rape. What a travesty! The fallout from the posture taken by the Honourable Chief Justice will undoubtedly further cower already traumatized women and reinforce their belief that our judicial system is unconcerned about them.
“On the issue of the behaviour of the alleged victim after the alleged incident the Honourable Chief Justice seemed to have concluded that the fact that the alleged victim took a week to be assessed by Dr. Joseph and went into the vehicle with the Commissioner of Police after the alleged rape strained her credibility. These statements show a remarkable lack of reading on the part of the Chief Justice on how women and children react to the barbaric offence of rape.
“Thursday the 29th day of March, 2012 will remain a black day for all right thinking people of Guyana. We trust that the Director of Public Prosecutions will appeal the decision of the Honourable Chief Justice and we trust that the Government of Guyana will act now and remove the Commissioner of Police from office.”