The Chief Justice’s concerns and questions in the Greene case went to the core of evidentiary accumulation and analysis

Dear Mr. Editor:

While holding no court for Mr. Greene, as I followed this matter, based upon what was offered in the press, I became more and more convinced that, as a matter of criminal liability, the Director of Public Prosecutions would be hard pressed to present to the court, a credible body of facts and evidence that could be calibrated to any set of elements that would give legal muster to a charge of rape. I was sure Mr. Greene would be exonerated in a pre-trial court of law – a totally different construction from the court of public opinion and emotion.

The Chief Justice’s concerns and questions, iterated in his opinion, mirror my own; and they go to the core of evidentiary accumulation and analysis; understandably, a process to which general society does not avail itself. To those who would cry foul and question the Chief Justice’s decision, I would caution that you read his opinion meticulously to see the holes that actually existed in the complainant’s story; particularly the chain of events  after their first meeting and, more so, the continued contacts after the event of the alleged rape.

The uninformed rush by many to demand  Mr. Greene’s  head, based on the allegations of the complainant, could have been tempered by the simple consideration that there were only two eye witnesses to whatever occurred between them – the complainant and the accused. When there are no other eye witnesses who can testify with pellucid conviction as to their observation of what actually happened, and when there is no other direct evidence that could corroborate the commission of the alleged criminal action, a trier of fact must rely on circumstantial evidence; which is defined in part as: “proof of a chain of facts and circumstances indicating that the person is either guilty or not guilty”. Additionally, circumstantial evidence must be buttressed by the applications of inference and reasonableness based on the human experience: In all, when it is applied, it must yet meet the legal standard of having no gaps in which reasonable doubt can exist.  For example, it is reasonable to expect that an aggrieved rape victim would make a police report immediately after the carnal violation has occurred. At the same time, the wider the gap grows between the alleged crime and the complaint, the lesser would be the credibility of the eventual complaint.

Of course, these situations are not absolute; but what is troubling in the case under consideration here is that in addition to the lengthy time lapse in bringing the complaint, the self-acclaimed victim occasioned several  liaisons with the accused after the event of the alleged rape. The Chief Justice was presented with a chain of events by the Director of Public Prosecutions who failed to provide legally acceptable explanations for the gaps and missing links therein; leaving him no recourse but to reject the proposition that a crime had been committed. Note well, there is no dispute that there was sexual activity between Mr. Greene and the complainant: Given the circumstances of their meeting, as immoral as that may be, it is not criminal.

Notably though, one is left to wonder  whether the Chief Justice’s obvious attack on the competence of the Director of Public Prosecutions, at least in the extant matter, is warranted. It seems as though the Chief Justice spared no effort to criticize and admonish the prosecutorial arm of the nation’s judicial system. I would opine that he went so far in his criticism of the prosecutorial offering in this case, intentionally or not, that it would constitute a warning to the government that it ought to look at the leadership of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions.

In conclusion, before any rush to vilify Chief Justice Chang, one should meticulously read the opinions upon which his decision rests. The guidance about the affairs of women and how they fare — and fear — in patrician societies and what ought to obtain for their rise to equality with their men-folk is appropriate; however, in the matter at hand, such noble cogitations, standing alone, must remain insufficient, in considering the criminal culpability of the morally challenged police commissioner.

Yours faithfully,
Wrickford Dalgetty

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