Winston James, who holds the post of Acting Commissioner of Police is facing a possible jail sentence.
A local attorney has filed a lawsuit in the high court asking the judge to sentence the Commissioner of Police to prison for not obeying a court order to reinstate five police officers implicated in the Oscar Bartholomew death in December 2011 following an incident at the St. David’s Police Station.
The local court, on Monday, upheld an application made by the Law Firm of Justis Chambers to have the five Police Officers reinstated into the ranks of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF).
It was ordered by Madam Justice Margaret Mohammad at High Court Number Three that as of 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday (July 9, 2013) that Police Officers, 649 Edward Gibson, 675 Shaun Ganness, 237 Ruddy Felix, 748 Kenton Hazzard, and Rural Constable Wendell Sylvester should resume active duties in the RGPF.
However, the Community Relations Department of the RGPF could not confirm up to midday on Tuesday if the Police Officers are back on duties in keeping with the Court Order.
The five police officers were originally charged with Manslaughter in connection with the death of Bartholomew who had become a Canadian Citizen and was visiting Grenada over the Christmas Holidays in December 2011 with his wife.
On March 15, Justice Septimus Rudd ruled that the charge brought in the name of the Commissioner of Police be quashed against the Police Officers who were on suspension with half pay salary to make way for a Coroner’s Inquest.
Justice Rudd further ruled that the accused be reinstated with full pay in the RGPF.
The order to have the Police Officers reinstated was never acted upon, and Justis Chambers filed an application before the High Court for the Commissioner of Police to be committed to prison if the order of the court continues to be disobeyed.
One of the Attorneys at Justis Chambers, Kenroy Samuel told reporters that the Law Firm received notice of an application that was filed by the Attorney General’s (AG) Chambers to render a stay in Justice Rudd’s judgement.
Samuel said that in counteracting the request, the Law Firm argued that the High Court does not have the jurisdiction to grant the stay.
He said while that application has not been officially abandoned by the AG Chambers, he believes that their action suggests that the Police Officers are to be reinstated.
According to Samuel, the application filed to commit the Commissioner of Police is still open and the Law Firm is waiting to first see if indeed the Police Officers are reinstated, and receive their retroactive payment.
He said if this fails to materialise, Justis Chambers will return to court by September to inform the court if they were reinstated or not and if not to get the court to act on the order to commit the Commissioner of Police to the Richmond Hill prison.
High court judge Mohammad agreed that the Court of Appeal is best suited to listen to the arguments.
The Coroner’s Inquest which is yet to hear evidence is set for August 26 at the St. David’s Magistrate’s Court.