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DPP discontinues charge against SOCU’s officers accused of arresting lawyer

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Shalimar Ali-Hack and Attorney-at-Law Tamika Clarke

The private criminal charges filed against Superintendent Krishnadat Ramana, Sergeant Navranda Persaud, and Sergeant Winston Singh for allegedly arresting Attorney-at-Law Tamika Clarke were discontinued by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Shalimar Ali-Hack.

In a letter dated December 12, 2022, to Magistrate Annette Singh in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court, the DPP exercised power conferred to her under Article 187 (1) (C) of Guyana’s Constitution.

The Attorney had charged the trio with wrongful confinement and wrongful restraint contrary to sections 6 and 8 of the Kidnapping Act on October 28, 2022.

But the DPP said that Clarke’s arrest and detention deal with tort and constitutional breaches, which are civil actions.

“The charges are in relation to acts done in the course of their duties. Superintendent Krishnadat Ramana, Sergeant #19001 Navranda Persaud and Sergeant #17599 Winston Singh are protected by virtue of section 14 of the Justice Protection Act Chapter 5:07,” the DPP said in her letter to the Magistrate.

Ali-Hack submitted that the intent and purpose of Parliament in the Kidnapping Act Chapter 10:05 is to provide for the punishment for the offences of abduction, wrongful restraint and confinement for ransom and other related offences and for matters incidental thereto.

“It is my considered opinion that the facts alleged by Tamika Clarke, at their highest, do not fall within the scope, purport, and intendment of the Kidnapping Act; therefore, the charges filed under this Act is an abuse of process,” the letter concluded.

On October 28, Clarke was arrested and detained by SOCU and subsequently released after she advised her client to remain silent, which is a part of his rights.

The lawyer later mounted legal action against the State over her unlawful arrest and detention by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU).


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