Breakdown in communication

Dear Editor,
The dismissal in the bizarre case of Justin John, who spent close to 10 years on remand for murder, presents itself as a horrible violation of human rights. What is even more horrible is the revelation from the DPP’s Chambers that Mr John had not even been formally indicted for murder since the conclusion of the preliminary inquiry in 2015. Prisoner Justin John was admitted into custody on May 27, 2003 after he was charged with murder. He was committed to stand trial in the High Court on June 5, 2008, and was still awaiting trial at that point.
As far back as 2010, Justice Roxane George had indicated that the legal system was malfunctioning, and she had ordered that Mr John’s indictment be presented in the June session of the Demerara Assizes.
Mr. John’s case was never presented, and she was informed that a few attempts had been made, but they failed because of the unavailability of witnesses as well as failed attempts to contact others.
The Judge then ordered that John’s case be called at the next session, regardless of what was happening with witnesses. This was not done for the simple fact that there is a breakdown in communication between the High Court and the Chambers of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Premeditated killings have been transformed into the watered-down version termed ‘manslaughter’. Coupled with poor Police investigative procedures and seemingly lacklustre efforts by some prosecutors, or more precisely the Director of Public Prosecutions, many victims still cry out for a lack of true justice.
The Attorney General urgently needs a meeting with the Chancellor, the Chief Justice, the Chief Magistrate, the DPP, and the Director of Prisons to ensure there aren’t any other cases like that of Mr John’s in the system.

Leyland Chitlall