15 Nov 2011

Privy Council–why it is still needed.

2011-11-09 16.16.47Last week, the Captain and I went on a jaunt to London, initially to the Privy Council to take in a murder appeal from the Rock. Now, this might not seem a big deal but in the case of Deenish Benjamin and Deochan Ganga (Appellants) v. The State (Respondent) (Trinidad & Tobago) some key issues that are regularly seen on the Rock have been brought to the attention of the Council for clarification.

For starters, the issue of police brutality, beatings to elicit a confession, was at the forefront of the case for the appellants (Benjamin and Ganga). What transpired seems like a gross miscarriage of justice, since the facts presented was that both of the appellants were ‘tortured’ (we all know how the dunceys roll) and forced to sign a confession – written by the police – when neither were able to do much more than sign their names. As an aside, but probably not relevant, their IQs were found by an expert psychologist to be 54 and 52. The judge also failed to direct the jury on these points, namely the importance of a forced confession and whether the appellants were aware of the importance of same.

The second significant fact was that the wife (Roxanne Ganga) of the victim (Sunil Ganga) gave a story full of inconsistencies. These were never examined at the trail and the judge failed to direct the jury on the importance of the testimony and the inconsistencies. Once more ‘proving’ my oft remarked on observation that the Monkey Island system of judicial integrity falls short of international standards… and they want their own CCJ! (Jumbie scoffs).2011-11-09 16.15.45

There were also several other points that came out of this hearing, and I daresay that the Law Lords will have an interesting time in clarifying the issues. However, I note that the appellants presented the stronger case and I do foresee that this case will be dismissed (the appellants freed) or that it will be returned to the High Court for a retrial. The glaring inconsistencies and errors in the original trial are just too much.

Next… the places we stayed.

PS: The Captain reminded me I should have mentioned that I was writing from the case presented by the appellants, which is what I thought was the stronger case (presentation).