Prosecute financial crimes where there is evidence, but trial by innuendo in the press should stop

Dear Editor,

Over the last two years a trend has clearly emerged in articles and editorials concerning government business. First would come rumours disguised as satire, followed by innuendo cloaked as fact, then hosts of accusations based on the preceding two. Sometimes explanations would be forthcoming from a government spokesperson, but many times these accusations were so far from reality that many ignored them.

The cries and accusations have now become the new norm, the traps and pitfalls seemingly being ignored by those who should know better. While it must have pleased many in the present government to see the former PPP/C administration under such pressure, my opinion is that the shoe will pinch much tighter on the other foot; newspapers and the plethora of internet news services are all spewing innuendo without a thought of consequence.

The printing of the opinion of Auditors Goolsarran and Sharma as evidence continues to mislead the public, and the consequence is that readers are increasingly confused by the lack of punitive action over the illegalities pointed out by the aforementioned gentlemen. The government unlike newspapers and accountants must rely on evidence to prosecute citizens, and to the credit of the Granger administration they have thus far proceeded with an abundance of caution. They know that there would be no danger of a statute of limitations being imposed on financial criminal acts committed by any person or entity. Time will forever be on the side of the government.

It has become a national tragedy to see even seasoned intellectuals falling for reporters’ traps such as suggestions that X person has fled the jurisdiction, whilst the public is treated to X person wandering aimlessly around the Marriott poolside and calling press conferences to debunk allegations.

Investigate, audit, publish findings and prosecute where there is evidence, but trial by innuendo and unfounded accusation in the press must stop. The public has grown sceptical and increasingly disinterested in claims of corruption and that is the greatest danger of all.

Yours faithfully,

Robin Singh

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