Tribunal “premature” – Jagdeo

first_imgOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has denounced the establishment of the tribunal that was established to look into whether Chairman and appointed member of the Public Service Commission (PSC), Carvil Duncan, should be removed from office.carville_duncanThe tribunal was appointed by President David Granger and sworn in on Thursday, with the task of inquiring, investigating and recommending whether the embattled PSC Chairman should be removed for his inability to discharge his duties.The establishment of this tribunal – which is being headed by Chairperson Justice Roxanne George, along with Justice Winston Patterson and Attorney Robert Ramcharran – was triggered by the institution of criminal charges against Duncan. These charges are still pending before a Magistrate at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.According to the Opposition Leader in a statement issued on Friday, the very Constitution that President Granger pledges to follow “in spirit and letter” confers upon Duncan a presumption of innocent until proven guilty by a court of law.“Since the charges against Mr Duncan are still pending, the establishment of this tribunal is premature, pre-emptive and repugnant to the very ‘due process’ to which the President says that his Administration is committed,” Jagdeo posited.He went on to point out that the establishment of the tribunal smacks of exactly the opposite – caprice, arbitrariness and witch-hunting.“It is public knowledge that Mr Duncan has been a stumbling block at the Public Service Commission, preventing this Administration from dismissing public servants on ethnic and political grounds and blocking the hiring of unqualified cronies,” he stated.The former Head of State went on to say that the establishment of this tribunal will have a prejudicial impact upon the pending legal proceedings as the President has sent a clear signal to the presiding Magistrate what outcome the Executive expects.“In these circumstances, we view the establishment of this tribunal as a travesty of justice and an assault upon constitutional due process and the fundamental rights of Carvil Duncan and the thousands of workers whose interests and welfare he protects,” the Opposition Leader noted.Duncan had been under pressure to step down from the constitutional body ever since he was charged and placed before the courts over an alleged theft of monies from the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Inc.He was placed on $1 million bail in February after he had appeared in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts charged with larceny, to which he pleaded not guilty.Police alleged that on March 31, 2015, at Georgetown, he stole $984,900, property of GPL.It is alleged that he conspired with the utility’s then Deputy Chief Executive Officer Aeshwar Deonarine, to steal $984,900, and that he conspired with Deonarine to commit a felony; namely, he conspired to steal $27,757,500, property of the power company.Duncan had been written to by Government in March to show cause why the tribunal should not be established to determine his fate on the constitutional body – the PSC – but he never responded.Duncan sits as Chairman of the PSC; a member of the Police Service Commission and he is also a member of the Judicial Service Commission.He was informed that the actions taken were in view of the offences for which he has been charged.Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeolast_img

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