Acts of torture and brutality

Over a month ago, THE NEW TODAY brought into the public domain reports that one of the country’s most foremost politicians, Peter David was engaged in some of the atrocities that took place during the dark days of the 1979-83 People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG).

Over the years, there were a number of allegations that Mr. David, now a practicing attorney-at-law in the local courts had done all sorts of things to persons who were arrested and kept in custody as political detainees by the revolutionary leaders.

However, no one had ever come forward publicly with credible information to link Mr. David with wrong-doing and illegal acts.

But during the month of October 2014, this newspaper was able to report on two incidents against political prisoners going back to 1979 in which Mr. David’s name surfaced.

The first was the arrest of NJM founding member, the late Teddy Victor of Vincennes, St. David’s who was accused of engaging in counter-revolutionary activities.

Mr. Victor, as well as his attorney-at-law, the late Michael Andrew have always maintained that the weapon that was found in Victor’s vehicle was planted by elements of the People’s Revolutionary Army (PRA), in which Mr. David served as a Captain in the Army.

In his just-released book, “Deception on Conception”, Mr. Victor identified Mr. David along with another then feared PRA officer, Captain Lester “Goat” Redhead as being on the scene when he was blocked on the road, the vehicle searched and the weapon was discovered.

Mr. Victor did not pointedly say that he knew for a fact that Mr. David did assist in framing him by actively taking part in the planting of the weapon in his vehicle to be used as the decoy for taking him into custody as a counter-revolutionary element.

However, the most damning evidence against Mr. David came from a fellow attorney-at-law, Eammon De Frietas who identified Mr. David and “Goat” Redhead as the two who came to his home and arrested him in the early hours of the morning as a counter-revolutionary.

Mr. De Frietas accused Mr. David of torturing him through an act of blindfolding him. In the words of Mr. De Frietas, “they did all sorts of things to me” after they took him into custody and placed him in a cell.

He also accused Mr. David of giving him instructions to beat up another detainee, Dr. Rupert Japal who was also taken into custody as a political prisoner for engaging in activities aimed at removing the PRG from power.

Most persons who lived through the reign of terror of the revolutionary leaders have heard many reports about the kinds of torture and acts of cruelty and brutality that was done to Dr. Japal after he was taken to a cell on Fort Rupert by Captains David and Redhead.

Other detainees who survived the onslaught of the PRA mayhem came out with stories about the flushing of the head of Dr. Japal in a toilet in order to get him to talk and sign statements to implicate the alleged perpetrators of wrong-doing against the PRG.

Mr. David has not publicly denied his role in the arrest and detention of his colleague lawyer, Eammon De Frietas He has remained stone-cold silent.

THE NEW TODAY calls on the leadership of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and moreso former Prime Minister Tillman Thomas, Kent Joseph and Jerome Joseph to apologise to the Grenadian people for providing the platform for Mr. David to be elected into public office and sit in the Parliament of this country.

It is our unshakeable view that anyone who has been engaged in any form of torture should not be allowed to sit in Parliament – the highest decision making body in the country.

This is our law-making Chamber and should be occupied at all times by persons of a particular character.

The current Congress leader – Mr. Nazim Burke who is also a qualified lawyer – might not be so inclined to condemn Mr. David over credible reports that he did engage in acts of torture against Mr. De Frietas because of his past association with the Revolution.

However, those who were in leadership positions within Congress back in the 1999-2003 period and took the decision to open the door for Mr. David should now come forward and publicly own up for their lack of foresight in failing to do the necessary background check on Mr. David’s role in the army and the arrest of a number of political detainees.

A prominent businessman in the city after reading the articles about Mr. David approached us and promised to bring to us another person who alleged he was beaten and tortured by the former PRA Captain while held in protective custody in the 1979-83 period.

Did Mr. Thomas, the former Prime Minister who was also a political detainee know at the time about the David/De Frietas issue?

Current Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell should also take careful note of the new association between David and the ruling New National Party (NNP) in light of the clear evidence now coming forward that Mr. David did engage in acts of torture as a soldier.

How much did former Governor-General, Sir Daniel Williams know about the David/De Frietas episode in light of the fact that Sir Daniel, as a lawyer helped in the legal fight of Mr. De Frietas to get back his confiscated properties from the PRG?

The current rulers in the country should send a clear signal to Grenadians that anyone who actively took part in acts of torture and brutality against their fellowmen back in the 1979-83 period will not be provided with an opportunity to serve at the national level.

THE NEW TODAY is urging the NNP administration to stop Mr. David from operating on behalf of the State given his now exposed track record in light of the Eammon De Frietas expose.

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