By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Prominent Attorney Christopher Ram has filed a criminal writ at the Whim Magistrates Court against Former President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo over some comments he made at Babu John during the Cheddi Jagan memorial ceremony.
The summons was issued by Magistrate Charlyn Artiga and will be served on Jagdeo at his Sparendaam address for him to appear in court on April 20.
Reports indicate that Ram filed the proceedings in his capacity as the informant in the Corentyne Magisterial District.
At Babu John, Jagdeo had said “they shout about racism of the PPP, but they practise racism. They whisper campaigns. In the last elections they went to some of the Afro- Guyanese villages and beat some drums at 6 O’clock in the morning and say let us throw out these coolie people. Get up, go out and vote, throw out the coolie people. That’s the kind of language they use. Anybody from our party who uses that sort of language, we will kick them out.”
Meanwhile a statement from Senior Counsel Bernard DeSantos who has been retained to defend the Former President described the court action as “frivolous.”
“The charge purports to be filed under section 139D of The Representation of the Peoples Act, Cap 1:02. The charge was filed by Christopher Ram, a known critic who seems to have an unnatural obsession with my client”
“I have examined the statements allegedly made by Mr. Jagdeo and which forms the basis of the charge; I have examined the section of the law under which the charge has been laid and in my view the charge is frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of the process of the court in which it has been filed,” DeSantos who is a former Attorney General noted in the statement.
According to the Senior Counsel, it is a gross misinterpretation and “colossal misuse and abuse of section 139D of the Representation of the Peoples Act, Cap 1:02.”
De Santos noted that he is unwilling to speculate on the myriad of reasons behind Rams court action but said that “it constitutes an abridgement of the constitutional right and freedom of my client to speak and express himself freely. Indeed, this unprecedented use of a criminal charge to muzzle speakers at public political events is an assault on the democratic right of political leaders to speak freely on matters of national interest as well as a violation of the democratic right of the citizenry to receive such information.”
He expressed the hope that the Director of Public Prosecutions will review the matter post haste since it “is nothing more than political sensationalisation and mischief.”