Tuesday, January 23, 2018

...Check me first, DPP tells Gibbs

DIRECTOR of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Roger Gaspard, has written to Commissioner of Police Dwayne Gibbs requesting that all completed files, involving arrests made under the Anti-Gang law be sent to him well in advance of the matters being taken to court.

Such an approach, Gaspard told Gibbs, could prevent a lot of embarrassment for all parties concerned.

Gaspard told the Express yesterday that, to date, only "a handful" of files have been received by his office.

As of yesterday, 60 people charged under the Anti-Gang Act have had their matters discontinued by Gaspard on the ground that there was no evidence upon which a prosecution could proceed.

No other person has been charged under the Act since the first set of people, now known as the "Nelson Street 21", were freed on September 12.

At a daily State of Emergency media briefing held at the Police Administration Building in Port of Spain two weeks ago, ASP Joanne Archie gave the assurance that the police had not abandoned their search for gangsters and gang leaders across the country.

Archie said the police are now simply seeking advice from Gaspard before charges are laid.

Gibbs, in an interview with the Express on September 18, said the DPP has to do what is right and has done so. His comment came following Gaspard's decision to drop the charges against the 21 men from Nelson Street.

He said then: "It's up to us to provide enough evidence to take the case through the court, and we haven't gathered enough evidence to meet that threshold."

Gibbs said the arrests were made based on intelligence gathered prior to August 15 when the Anti-Gang Bill was proclaimed.