Thursday, June 24, 2010
Benschop may be obstructing justice in CN Sharma’s carnal knowledge case
POLITICAL activist Mark Benschop may be attempting to pervert and obstruct the course of justice in the CN Sharma carnal knowledge case currently before the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court. Legal observers say this new development is indeed worrying and questioned Benschop’s motive for the claims he advanced yesterday on his website, guyanaobservernews.org, about the mother and daughters who are State witnesses in the CN Sharma case.
CN Sharma, who is also Leader of the Justice For All Party (JFAP), was charged with carnal knowledge of a 15-year-old girl.
Benschop wrote on his website that the carnal knowledge case against Sharma “has taken a new twist” when “the mother and her two daughters (all witnesses, and under State protection)” turned up at his (Benschop's office) to say that they have been "threatened" by the police and a Government minister to testify against Sharma.
Attorney-at-Law, Anil Nandlall, said these allegations by Benschop are serious and have grave implications considering his statements implicate a Minister of Government and senior functionaries of the Guyana Police Force in wrongdoing, including the criminal offences of perverting or obstructing the course of justice, conspiracy, malicious prosecution, and using the legal process as a weapon of vendetta against citizens.
Nandlall said he views these allegations with great suspicion, because there are questions begging answers.
“For instance, why was Benschop approached and no-one else, especially in the media, including Channel Six, which would quickly and willingly give this matter prominence in the public arena? What help could they visualize Benschop providing them, unless his accusations of offering reward for lies be retorted to him? Why did they not approach opposition parliamentary parties, nor consult a lawyer, the Bar Association or the Police Complaints Authority?” he questioned.
The Attorney-at–law further questioned why the family did not once again approach Red Thread, the organization to which they took their original complaint?
Nandlall recalled that it was Red Thread which brought the matter to the attention of the Police and the public and initiated legal proceedings against the alleged culprit, and Red Thread is no friend of the Government.
He believes these are relevant questions to serious allegations on legal issues, and the answers to these questions should determine the credibility of Benschop’s assertions.
Nandlall said that in the interest of justice and transparency, these very damaging allegations by Benschop are thoroughly investigated and appropriate actions taken.
“…I am convinced that, apart from those implicated, these allegations can undermine the very foundation of Guyana’s criminal justice system in particular, and law and order, generally, with most dire consequences to the society,” Nandlall offered.