Dear Madam President
When appointed, you were a popular president. You could have become a people’s president, so why did you became the Prime Minister’s puppet? From whence came your narcissistic sense of entitlement, globe-trotting and hob-knobbing with the rich and infamous? Your image has been transformed from Mauritian President into national embarrassment. Is your Machiavellian mentor manoeuvring to get his retirement home back? While you have displayed poor judgement, other high officers of the Republic have been orders of magnitude worse that threaten our international standing and the very rule of law. You have the power to initiate their removal. Do you dare to redeem yourself and do the right thing?
In my opinion that Pravind Kumar Jugnauth is insane. How else can you explain why he would deliberately risk the reputation of Mauritius? Imagine having a sitting Prime Minister imprisoned after his acquittal for conviction of corruption is overturned by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC)? Some say he demonstrated his insanity when he appealed the original conviction instead of accepting the extremely lenient order to perform community service. In fact, the only “service” to Maurtius he has demonstrated himself willing is to dramatically increase the costs of servicing our national debts and obligations.
If you agree with me, Article 63(1) of the Constitution empowers you to promote the Deputy Prime Minister to perform the Prime Minister’s functions. The very first of which should be to dissolve Parliament. Then the people can be allowed to restore a semblance of democracy to the present debacle.
Can you name a Chief Justice who has had a greater proportion of his judgements overturned by the JCPC than Kheshoe Parsad Matadeen? If he was employed by the private sector, where tenure depends on performance, would he have even kept his previous job, let alone been promoted? His crowning “glory” was the acquittal of Jugnauth Junior, a judgement rightly savaged by Alexandre Barbes-Pougnet in the pages of le Mauricien on 31st May and 1st June 2016, on the basis of which, the DPP had no choice but to appeal to the JCPC. Any judge with half a brain would have considered the intent of Parliament when interpreting the Prevention of Corruption Act. Surely the JCPC will chastise the Supreme Court for such a glaring oversight.
To its credit, the Supreme Court, in granting the DPP permission to appeal to the JCPC, has acknowledged the merit of the Deputy DPP’s argument that its “pronouncements in the judgment dated 25 May 2016 are capable, if not reversed, of constituting a precedent not conducive to the public interest in the proper administration of justice”. If this isn’t an admission error, what is? What clearer suggestion could be made to the JCPC that it is in the public interest that Jugnauth Junior’s conviction be reinstated? Let us pray that the Law Lords impose a harsher penalty than our local courts and he is forever disqualified from being a member of the National Assembly, thus terminating the bloodline of one political dynasty without spilling a drop.
On the very same day, the Supreme Court granted Satyajit Boolell leave to apply for a judicial review of ICAC’s decision to investigate him for a potential conflict of interest in the extremely suspicious Sun Tan case. Is this judicial complicity in his apparent stalling for time, hoping that a change of regime will deliver a grateful Prime Minister, who orders the “independent” commission to terminate its probe? The judgement refers to Section 93 of the Constitution and the process by which the DPP may be removed from office. What hypocrisy is this when Myopic Matadeen has already overlooked two letters of complaint against the DPP?
The 70th newsletter from the Office of the DPP describes the criminal process in a nutshell: a declaration must be followed by an investigation, if it is suspected that a crime has been committed, then this must be followed by an arrest and provisional charge. Only at this stage can the defendant make application to the courts on the basis that the information laid before it does not reveal a crime. If, at the completion of the investigation, the decision is made to prosecute, then this may be amenable to Judicial Review.
The Supreme Court has now set an evil precedent of judicial interference in criminal investigations, adding to the already intolerable levels of political interference. This ruling must also be reversed, otherwise we risk people get away with murder, simply because of their position and the leverage they have on those at the top of the judicial pyramid. Nobody should be above the law. If Baby Boolell is innocent then what does he have to fear from an investigation?
I have asked you before to initiate the process to consider the removal of the Myopic Matadeen because, as the Chairman of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, he has ignored my repeated requests to investigate my own complaint against the DPP. Surely his track record and corruption of our criminal justice system are compelling grounds for you to act now?
Director of Public Prosecutions
When the DPP made the decision to prosecute me for a crime that does not even exist – paying the fine of Harish Boodhoo – he had to take into account my initial statement. I clearly explained that I paid the fine because I was concerned about his state of health. He was in imminent danger of being sent to prison and his lawyer stated on the very same day in court that he was a “dying man”. Good Samaritan laws exist to give protection to people who help those whom they believe are in peril. If baby Boolell is not aware of such laws then he is incompetent. If he is aware of them then he is corrupt and was most likely acting out a personal or political vendetta on behalf of his brother’s political party. My outspoken critiques have given him ample motive for both.
Consider Baby Boolell’s track record:
How can it not be in the public interest for the DPP to explain his decisions to not prosecute the former Prime Minister? Is he expecting his friend to return the favour if and when he regains power and has he kept one charge in place to ensure he doesn’t forget? Are the current executive really guilty of harassing their rival or is the DPP guilty of protecting him?
What country would permit someone, who has the discretionary power to severely disrupt the life of whomsoever disagrees with him, to act on behalf of a private enterprise, let alone to represent it in negotiations with public administration?
In seeking to protect his own reputation, has not Baby Boolell brought shame on the Office of the DPP? Surely, the sooner he is cast aside and replaced by his Deputy, Rashid Abdhool Ahmine, who has proven himself to be by far his superior, the better for the independence and integrity of the Mauritian criminal justice system?
Last but not least
If we are to purge the country of dynasties and prima donnas who bring our nation into disrepute and attract international contempt, then there is one more person who must step down. I leave it to your conscience to discern who I am talking about.
Dr Richard L Munisamy
Member of Reporters Sans Frontières