Why is the ministerial responsibility question being raised so long after the Linden Commission of Inquiry?

Dear Editor,

Mr Brynmor T I Pollard, SC, a prominent member of the Guyana Bar apparently seeks the removal of Home Affairs Minister Mr Clement Rohee. What can explain this public advocacy of a respected member of the law profession so late after the Linden Commission has pronounced on the incident?

He informed us that “I being conscious of the credentials of the Commissioners…” is yet unable to understand why  “regrettably, in my opinion, the Commissioners being eminent Caribbean legal personalities, surprisingly avoided pronouncing on the important issue of ministerial responsibility arising out of the deaths which occurred as a result of the shooting of unarmed protesters by one or more members of the disciplined services at the scene of the tragedy.” Mr Pollard is not the first to disagree with the eminent Linden Commissioners neither is he the last.

But isn’t it a fundamental principle that punishment is imposed only when guilt is established? Expecting  any minister  to resign only in accordance with an opposition motion, individual opinion, any tradition, or even a principle of governance and not a written law, would imply the Minister had been found guilty. Of what and by whom?   Minister Rohee violated no laws whatsoever, written or otherwise as the Linden Commission found in its deliberations.

All the evidence before the Linden Commission shows the Home Affairs Minister never gave any direct orders to shoot anyone in any effort at micromanagement. Superintendent Hicken specifically testified that he was in direct contact with police HQ where overall responsibility and directions originate. In any court of law, attorneys on opposite sides are seldom in agreement. All countries react to situations according to their own peculiar circumstances. As a Senior Counsel and very experienced lawyer Mr Pollard knows law and order must be maintained and that extreme situations engineer their own responses.

 

Yours faithfully,
Sultan Mohamed

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