No reinstatement yet of Police Officers

Lawyers representing a group of Police Officers who have been placed on suspension since they were previously charged with manslaughter in connection with the death of Oscar Peter Bartholomew on December 27, 2011 are seeking to have their clients reinstated into the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF).

The charge of manslaughter that was hanging over the heads of 649 Edward Gibson,, 237 Ruddy Felix, 675 Shaun Ganness, 748 Kenton Hazzard, and Rural Constable Wendell Sylvester were quashed earlier this year by High Court Judge, Justice Septimus Rudd.

In his ruling, Justice Rudd also ordered that the Police Officers who were placed on suspension pending the outcome of the case be reinstated into RGPF.

One of the defense lawyers, Queen’s Counsel, Dr. Francis Alexis told reporters on Monday that he had read in the newspaper that the State had served notice to appeal against the judge’s decision.

However, Dr. Alexis said he was not officially made aware of the decision to appeal the judgement and that he and another of the defense attorneys, Anselm Clouden would engage the State to learn what is going on.

He added that even if the State did file an appeal, he is not even aware if a stay of execution had been granted against the ruling.

“Mr. Clouden and I would have to engage both the (Acting) Commissioner of Police and the Director of Public Prosecution (Christopher Nelson)”, he said.

After reading the judgement, DPP Nelson told THE NEW TODAY Newspaper that he is satisfied that Justice Rudd had erred and that he will challenge the decision before the Court of Appeal.

At a recent press conference hosted by the RGPF, Acting Commissioner James told the media the court made a ruling and that as the Commissioner of Police he has a responsibility “to obey the ruling of the court.”

“I will do nothing less or more than obey the ruling of the court,” James said.

A Coroner’s Inquest is due to start on August 26 to determine whether or not any of the five Police Officers is culpable for Bartholomew’s death.

Bartholomew was allegedly beaten while being in police custody at the St. David’s Police Station on December 26.


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