Senior Counsel, Anthony Astaphan has responded to statements made by the Leader of the Opposition during a press conference held today at the UWP office.
The United Workers Party, during its press conference, called on the Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit and other members of Dominica Labour Party to obey the rule of law, honor the Constitutional provisions for equality before the law and withdraw immediately from their alleged attack on the orderly operation of the criminal justice system.
The United Workers Party indicated that the request by DLP lawyer, Lennox Lawrence, for the DPP to block the case is another act of lawlessness by the DLP regime.
In his response, Mr. Astaphan described Mr. Linton as “completely ignorant about the basic principles of constitutional election law” and also described what was said as “political nonsense from the opposition leader.
“I did hear what the Leader of the Opposition had to say at his press conference and I can only give it the respect that it truly deserves,” Astaphan noted. “I am not going to waste my time getting into a constitutional debate with a man who is completely ignorant about the basic principles of constitutional election law. All that I’m prepared to say is that what I heard is more ‘Mombo-jumbo’ political nonsense and garbage from the leader of the opposition.”
He added, “Every single citizen, regardless of what station they have in life, has in accordance with the same equality of law principle that they have been articulating, the right to apply to write to the DPP and the Attorney General to point out that they’re being subjected to harassment and abuses of the process of the court by filing a charge that discloses no offense on it, and, by being prosecuted by political hacks and agents of the United Workers Party out of pure malice and wickedness and that there is no evidence to substantiate the charge.”
Mr. Astaphan further stated that persons charged are at liberty under the constitution to write to the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Attorney General giving sound advice on the matter at hand.
“There is a long list of authorities where the High Court, the Court of Appeal, and the Privy Council said it would be contrary to the public interest and an abuse of the process of the court for any person, official or private citizen, to be subject to prosecution either by the police or by a private citizen, if the charges do not disclose an offense.”
He said, “There is no evidence to substantiate it, and it’s not in the public interest and the persons charged or accused or against whom allegations are made have an unfettered right under the constitution, under the common law, under every single law that we have to write to the DPP and the AG and to advise them that these complaints and these prosecutions are political mastications, it has a political and partisan motive and it is being engineered by politicians and not by persons truly interested in the truth or justice.”