People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) Member of Parliament (MP) Harry Gill was summoned to appear at the Fort Wellington Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday to answer to a charge of assault on former Regional Democratic Councillor of Region 5, and People’s National Congress (PNC) activist, Carol Smith Joseph.
According to a press statement by the PPP/C, “We believe this may be a deliberate act to detain one of our MPs as an attempt to reduce our numbers in Parliament on Friday to ensure the failure of the no-confidence vote.”
The Party is maintaining that the charge against Gill is baseless.
Two Fridays ago, it is alleged that Gill was viciously assaulted with a chain by Joseph in the presence of Police Inspector Rose and the GECOM Supervisor, Clermont Mingo.
Gill was at the time videoing Joseph’s alleged hostile behaviour towards him and the PPP.
However, even though the senior police officer reportedly admitted on video that he “observed” the assault, Joseph was neither arrested, nor charged.
“It is instructive to note that it is Harry Gill who, a few minutes after, made a report of this assault to the Fort Wellington Police Station upon the advice of the senior police officer, Inspector Rose, and requested that the matter be investigated. It now turns out that the complainant, MP Harry Gill, is the one being charged,” the PPP said.
Gill was summoned to court less than 24 hours after the Leader of the Opposition, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo called upon authorities and the National Assembly to implement measures that will protect MPs and ensure that the “no-confidence” motion slated for Friday can go forward unhindered.
Jagdeo had predicted that the PNC/APNU will do everything possible to prevent the vote from taking place.
“We hope this charge is not being instituted to prevent our Member of Parliament from attending Parliament on Friday,” the PPP statement said while making a call for the Department of Public Prosecution (DPP) to immediately intervene and terminate the charge against Gill, “lest that office continues to bear the public perception that it is infected by politics and politicians.”
Joseph who is no stranger to controversy had to resign from her position as a senior PNC member on the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) in Region 5 after she found herself at the center of allegations of using her office to get preferential treatment at the Fort Wellington Hospital to procure prescription narcotic, Pethidine for her personal use.