Relook the change!!!

n amendment to the Terrorism Act by the NNP-dominated Parliament in Grenada at its last sitting almost went unnoticed in the country.

The change that has raised eyebrows in certain quarters relates to the decision to empower the Attorney General to confiscate the assets of anyone once he believes that those assets were acquired through terrorist activities.

The NNP can end up at a serious disadvantage in Parliament when it comes to passing laws given the fact that it controls all fifteen elected Members of Parliament.

This happened to some extent in the aftermath of its 15-0 victory at the polls in the 1999 general elections.

Some of the elected members who served in that Parliament admitted that most times they did not read any of the laws that came before them because it was going to pass anyhow due to the complete control that NNP had on the House of Representatives.

The other factor is that most of the MP’s did not possess a legal mind and did not go through in any detail the laws brought to their attention in Parliament.

The current change with the Terrorism Act might have been treated in the same manner since outside of the Attorney General, only one other member of the Cabinet team is a qualified lawyer, Labour Minister, Elvin Nimrod.

This newspaper believes that the government should review the change and shy away from giving such sweeping powers to an Attorney General – whether it is Mr. Cajeton Hood or another holder of the office.

The framers of our Constitution did not envisage an Attorney General to serve as judge, juror and executioner when it comes to putting an individual on trial for breaking the law.

The government is virtually assured of passage of the change to the act in the Senate since it also controls the upper house in Parliament.

Our system is much different from that of the United States, which might be twisting the arms of small states to bring Terrorism acts to their Parliaments.

This piece of legislation will be subjected to greater checks and balances in the U.S system of government since the Attorney General can be summoned by the Congress to give account for any action taken.

The legislation can even be rejected by Congressional leaders. However, under the system in Grenada, an affected person has nowhere else to go to seek redress from the actions of an Attorney General.

THE NEW TODAY calls on the Grenada Bar Association (GBA), Conference of Churches of Grenada (CCG), Trade Union Council (TUC), Grenada Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Grenada Hotel & Tourism Association, and the Non-governmental Organisations to take a look at the changes made by government to the Terrorism Act which seeks to give wide-ranging powers to the Attorney-General to become the sole arbitrator of such an important issue.

This newspaper would also like to address the issue of the decision of the Spicemas Corporation and the relocation of Carnival City to a new venue known as Fun City on the Maurice Bishop Highway.

Some serious questions have to be asked about the decision-making process used by the Arthur Hosten-led Committee to engage an operator with a questionable track record for a national event.

In some circles, people have started to allude to the type of investors the NNP attracted back in the early days of the 1995-2008 rule like the sex goods man, Steve Altman and the crooks and conmen like Van Brink and those involved in the First International Bank of Grenada (FIBG).

What due diligence if any did Mr. Hosten and company do on the individual behind Fun City? Were they aware of his St. Vincent & The Grenadines experience?

The Spicemas Corporation would have to answer these questions for themselves.

Finally, THE NEW TODAY would like to join with all those expressing profound sympathy to the family members and business associates of Mott Green who died in tragic circumstances last Saturday.

It is a sad death one that came at a most unfortunate time as Mr. Green was helping to put Grenada on the world map for its renowned cocoa through his chocolate product.

This entrepreneur was able to do what so many local businessmen have been failing to do for many decades – adding value to our cocoa product.

Mr. Green had put to shame all those in the private sector who choose to make money through importing goods and then selling to make a profit and never looked at manufacturing our raw material to provide greater opportunities for our people.

The path that this U.S-born entrepreneur had embarked upon was the correct way to go if Grenada is able to hold its own in the international community.

It is our sincere hope that many of our entrepreneurs would become as bold and enterprising as Mr. Green and start to utilize our raw material instead of seeing it as something only for export.

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