Benard Wiltshire takes legal action against police

Wiltshire

Lawyer Bernard Wiltshire, a former attorney general in the Dominica Labour Party administration, is taking legal action against the police.

Wiltshire was arrested in June 2011 for his alleged involvement in what police described as a passport scam.

He says he was wrongfully arrested, falsely imprisoned and deprived of his liberty.

The attorney told Dominica News Online that he had filled out a passport form for an individual and signed the form without being aware that the man was involved in the alleged passport scam.

According to Wilshire he was victimized, because other lawyers who apparently dealt more extensively with some of those said to have been involved in the scam, were not targeted by the police.

“I feel the police really did not have a justifiable reason to arrest me when they did, and certainly not to keep me in the cell for ten hours,” the former attorney general said.

He was not charged with any offence.

“On merely signing a passport form by mistake, you would arrest the person and imprison them for ten hours’” Wiltshire observed, adding that if the police thought he was involved in the scam they should have had evidence to back those suspicions.

He told DNO that he was not aware of and had nothing to do with the alleged scam.

The attorney says he was clearly victimized “by the police who most probably support the (Dominica Labour Party) government”.

He feels that his rights were trampled on as part of what Bernard Wiltshire describes as standard police procedure of violating the rights of people detained by them.

He is seeking punitive damages but says money is not the issue, he wants “justice, I want the law to clearly say under what circumstances the police can arrest and imprison somebody, and if they do it wrong the laws provide redress”.

He feels the police could have dealt with the matter without arresting him and keeping him locked up for several hours.

He says they didn’t charge him because “clearly they had no grounds to do that”.

Wiltshire said even without being charged his arrest and imprisonment was made known to the news media and broadcast at large, subjecting the former attorney general to humiliation and disgrace.

“I was very unjustly treated, I was very unfairly treated,” Wiltshire told DNO.

Click on the link below to hear Bernard Wiltshire’s interview with DNO’s Ken Richards on the lawsuit matter:

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52 Comments

  1. Bushmaninda
    January 31, 2012

    There is an adage that refers to a lawyer who represents himself has a fool. I trust that Mr. Wiltshire is no fool and will get the necessary legal assistance. This is too important a civic issue to be lost in the emotions of an aggrieved individual. Bernard, the Bushmaninda urges you to get the help you need, foreign or domestic. Do not let this one get away. There are many others who spend much more than 10 hours in confinement for the wrong reasons.

  2. Mad as Hell
    January 30, 2012

    DNO- I am saying it again.. What the heck is going on in this country?? The dictatorship is proceeding at a much faster pace than I had anticipated! Dominicans this is no joke! Speak now or when you turn comes you will have no one to speak for you!

  3. SANCTUS
    January 30, 2012

    LYING NOT LIAH

  4. January 30, 2012

    Wiltshire said he was helping someone he knows. Did he know the person,s name? Why did he not check the photo before signing and saying he knows the person for more than 2yrs.

  5. ?????
    January 30, 2012

    Once you have sufficient ground to sue them, GO AHEAD.

  6. WIKILEAK
    January 30, 2012

    If I recall Mr Wiltshire said that the guy had a passport prior to coming to him to fill the form. Knowing someone does not mean that you break bread or share wine with the person. The way some of us are interpreting this notoriety requirement is wrong else not many of us would own a passport today.
    We seem to be spending time on Wiltshire’s case which is so insignificant compared to the reckless sale of our passports to international crooks and Iranians of questionable character. Some of us were so quick to believe that Karan Singh had duly received a passport just because Tony Astaphan say so. We should be welcoming Mr Wilktshire’s decision as we are yet to hear anything about those who were forging birth certificates for Iranians etc. In addition let Mr Wiltshire’s law suit serve as a measure by which the police must act.
    Why have the police not question those other lawyers selling our passports , the government officials flying to Dubai to sign and deal our passports? These are the questions we must ask so that we can take our sovereignty back.

  7. Justice for all
    January 30, 2012

    justice for one should be justice for all. Political Partisanship will KILL all of us in Dominica. Too much of that blind support for whom? Another Lawyer, we all know whom, signed TEN TIMES, 40, PASSPORT FORMS, the same kind of form. Up to now, NO Harassment, no incarceration in the CELL. That Lawyer is a known Agent for the SALE of our Passports. Is that Lawyer one of the UNTOUCHABLES? If Wiltshire was arrested, why was that other Lawyer not arrested for doing something more severe?

    When some people abhor deep hatred for another, even though he is victimized, demonised, arrested, jailed, or killed, No problem. Is so dfominica come? We hear of our passports, diplomatic ones being sold black-is white, and reaching the hands of foreigners with reputable dealings, it’s OK. Those involved are doing nothing wrong.

    We hear of Birth Certificates forged to facilitate bogus persons trying to lay hands on our passports for there personal reasons. No problem. Concerns abound re. transparency or accountability, but no investigations, no inquiry, no arrests amidst those controversial sales.

    Just check the comments. Wiltshire they say should be arrested, but those very people agree that that other Lawyer should not be touched because is one of the operatives. They stay away from that lawyer’s actions, and say nothing. Is so Dominica come, nuh?

    Many of the allegations regarding the sales of our passports cannot be refuted. Some try to twist the facts, but the TRUTH is being revealed about passport sales. Diplomatic passports and diplomatic immunity being sold to all kinds of foreigners and Facts are stubborn things to accept. Will the TRUTH ever set some people FREE?

  8. BALTHAZAR
    January 30, 2012

    that is the next level we or allu voted for

  9. Eagle Eye
    January 30, 2012

    For you self-righteous people out there, I hope you never do something you live to regret later. So when someones signs a passport claiming that they have known you for X number of years, they are supposed to do a thorough criminial background check on you before they sign the passpot form? All that is required from you is to have known the person for said period. The applicant is responsible for the accuracy and truthfulness of the what is answered of the various questions.

  10. IM
    January 30, 2012

    Wilshire seems like he just woke up from sleeping….

    The sun is out and the sky is blue sir.

    are you dazed?

    • ....................
      January 30, 2012

      Your comment is ignorant and stupid. It’s obvious that you had nothing to say.

  11. Dubique767
    January 30, 2012

    Moin vraiment confuse, frere. Explique bagay la ba moin.

    The terms, requirements, and penalty on the passport is very clear.

    Where did you sign? In Section 6, 8 or 9? Obviously, you could not have signed in Section 6, 8, because you were not the applicant or parent. If you signed in Section 9, and you were not a “RECOMMENDER”, then the chicken entered the fox’s lair.

  12. Gwen Fig
    January 30, 2012

    If you’re detained for ten hours and released then the police should be congratulated for being in tune with the Constitution, which allows them to detain someone on suspicion on committing a crime for 72 hours without being charged.

    Well done Mr. Wiltshire tell the police how fair and honest they’re. Guess you’re trying to castigate the police when there is no reason for doing so.

    Great job by the police.

    • Asterix
      January 30, 2012

      @Gwen Fig are you saying that the police can just arrest anybody under so calle “suspicion” with no charge read to them whatsoever, lock them up and then release them 72 hours later? If that is what you are saying then doesn’t that leave room for abuse of power?

      • Gwen Fig
        January 30, 2012

        Kindly educate yourself as to what the Constitution says, you’re intelligent go do some reading and form your one conclusion

      • stupes
        January 31, 2012

        GREETINGS ALL, WHY CANT WE TAKE SOME TIME OFF TO READ ON THE POWERS OF THE POLCIE AS STATED IB LAW BEFORE WE HPE ON OUR EYBOARDA AND ATTACK THE POLICE. WHY DONT WE ACT MORE MATURE BE MORE DOMINICAN. THE POLICE CANNOT SIMPLY ARREST AND PUT ONE IN A CELL, MR WILTSHIRE KNOWS ALL ABOUT THE POWERS OF THE POLICE AND ON WHAT GROUNDS THEY ARRESTED HIM, BUT AGAIN HE EXPECTED SPECIAL TREATMENT. THE OTHERS WHO MAY HAVE SIGNED PASSPORT FORMS WOULD HAVE BEEN IN THE CELLS TOO IF WHAT THEY HAD SIGNED WERE INVOLVED IN THE SCAM. NOT ALL RECOMMENDERS WERE INVOLVED IN THE SCAM. THE LAW STATES THAT YOU MUST KNOW THE PERSON THAT YOU ARE RECOMMEDNING FOR MORE THAN TWO YEARS AND THAT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY AS A RECOMMENDED AND IF YOU PROCEED ANYWAY, NOT KNOWING THAT INDIVIDUAL FOR MORE THEN TWO YEARS THEN DAPWA YOU WILSTIRE. THE POLICE HAS THE AUTHOPRITY TO ARREST ON SUSPICION OF A CRIME ANYONE WHOM THEY HAVE REASONABLE GROUNDS TO BELIEVING HAVE COMMITTED, IS ABOUT TO COMMIT OR IS ALLEGED TO HAVE COMMITTED A CRIME. AT THE END OF THE INVESTIGATIONS THEY EITHER PREFE A CHARGE OR THEY MUST RELEASE YOU AND THEY MUST CONCLUDE INVESTIGATIONS WITHING SEVETY TWO HOURS CHARGE YOU OR RELEASE YOU. NOW TELL US ANTUI SKERITT AND PILCE BLOGGERS WHAT HAS THE POLICE DONE WRONG IN THIS CASE? THE LAWS HAVE BEEN THERE BEFORE YOU AND I AND SKERRITT WAS BORN. PLEASWE LET US STOP HITTING OUR KEYBOARDS JUST BECAUSE IT COST US NOTHING TO DO SO. READ A STORY LOOK UP THE LAWS AND THEN MAKE A MATURE COMMENT. I AM AWARE WE WILL ALWAYS SHARE SOME JOKES ON THE BLOGS AND TING BUT I BELIEVE THAT WE CAN DO BETTER SO THAT WIL RESULT IN A MORE RESPECTFUL EXCAHNGE OF OPINIONS BUT WE CANNOT CONTINUE TO SUBMIT OPINIONS WITHOUT EDUCATUING OURSELVES.HOPEFULLY WHILE ENJOYING THE COMMICAL SID EOF THINGS WE CAN ALSO GROW IN OUR UNDERSTANDING OF OUR NATION’S LAWS. WE CAN CASTIGATE A PARTICULAR POLICE OFFICER FOR AN UNPLEASANT ENXPERINCE HE / SHE PUT US THROUGH OR THE POLICE FORCE FOR NOT DOING WELL ENOUGH OR FOR DOING SOME ACT THAT WE DO NOT ACCEPT BUT ARE WE A PEOPLE WHO ARE ANTI POLICE? IS THAT WHAT I AM READING? JUST ASKING?

  13. mrsTEACHER BAZIL
    January 30, 2012

    so u just signing a form as a big lawyer without doing your due dilence work me day-bar

    yet again while two wrongs do not make a right i think this could be politically motivated

    domnica have too much

    let me go and teach my children …its recess time !

    • Jacky chan
      January 30, 2012

      You better go teach before Parry Bellot right you up for low productivity

  14. Rocks
    January 30, 2012

    Take them to court self….Having somebody to sign a passport form is just ridiculous….ONLY IN DA…The immigration office need to take more responsibility in doing background work on individuals who apply for passport and stop that process of having individuals sign for others. You never know what someone is into and in good faith you sign a passport form for them and here you go..You get yourself in legal problems because you tried to assist an individual.

    • Dubique767
      January 30, 2012

      I am continually baffled at some of the comments you guys make on DNO. You are telling that his affirmative defense is that he tried to help someone by signing for a Tom, Dick, or Harry? No review, no due diligence, no nothing? Weh!weh! zot pas serieux, mes amis.

      • Rocks
        January 30, 2012

        Be Baffled then….You miss the entire point. I am saying that someone should not have to put his life on the line in other for a born Dominican to get a passport. The individual applying for the passport and needs to sign the form, he should get it notarized and submit it to the Immigration office without anyone else needing to sign that fromon his behalf. THe immigration office need to do the appropriate background check before they issue the passport. That’s my point baffled…You that stupid that this baffled you…SMDH!!!

      • Domtiguan
        January 30, 2012

        Doesnt the form say u have to know said person for a period of time before signing??

      • Asterix
        January 30, 2012

        @Dubique, have you ever been surprised by the unexpected behavior of a friend or even your partner for that matter? Have you ever been surprised by the behavior of someone you once thought had better character? You can never know anybody fully well

      • Anonymous
        January 31, 2012

        Due diligence to sign a passport form? What nonsense is this. You only have to know the individual. If you go before a notary public do they have to inquire about your background or you just present and id?This pure victimization by a decadent and utter rubbish leader

    • Dubique767
      January 31, 2012

      @Rocks

      …and Mr. Wiltshire says. “On merely signing a passport form by mistake, you would arrest the person and imprison them for ten hours.” How could you sign a passport form by mistake? You are either the applicant, the parent, or the recommender…Do you agree? Read on. There is an education for you here.

      Yes. I am still baffled by your comments. I am still baffled by your comments because you are missing apples and green mangoes, mate. What does background check have to do with the allegation? I am baffled, because you have failed to take a look at the actual passport application in question. For it clearly states when a “recommender” or “Parent” can sign on someone’s behalf – a minor, for example. Based on what you are saying, you would have a minor sign his/her own passport. I am baffled by your comments, because it is highly unlikely that a man of such a “legal mind”, who has been trained in this field, purportedly made such a mistake. I am still further baffled by your comments, because you stated ONLY IN DA that people sign passports on someone’s behalf. That is totally untrue. It happens in almost every country when someone gets a passport for a minor. Take a look at the U.S. or French passport application.

      I will not call you stupid in return – for you clearly need some education in this area. You are now a better person for what you are learning here. Now, move along, mate…move along.

      • Dubique767
        January 31, 2012

        mistake noted: Mixing…not missing.

    • Dubique767
      January 31, 2012

      @Anonymous

      Since I can’t tag your comments, I’ll tag Rocks’- since it looks like both of you need an education on this matter…

      Definition: Due Diligence – In law, due diligence refers to precautions that are supposed to be taken by a person or company in some context. For example, did the person thoroughly check his/her “product” (in this case, the person Mr. Wiltshire is signing for) beforehand to ensure reliability? If they do not, and bad results come off their negligence, they can be held criminally liable. So, if you signed on behalf of Harry, even if you have known him for a thousand years, and Harry is arrested for passport fraud, and your signature is on the fraudulent passports, you will be called on the carpet – good intention or not. It is how the law works.

  15. Daily stuff
    January 30, 2012

    Think this Legal mind is late for school im afraid, he just missed the last train to the passport office!!

  16. so disturbing
    January 30, 2012

    Wiltshire are you sueing because you questioned “On merely signing a passport form by mistake?” or were you sue when you signed the passport form by mistake? Those educated guys does make me laugh boy. They doe want the police to question them for signing a passport form by mistake even if there is so much rowrow about passport scam. Skerrit sue, Linton sue, eddo sue, senior counsel sue, and look now another counsel sue.

  17. it matters
    January 30, 2012

    Is this the same individual that went on radio and claimed the government did not perform any due diligence when selling/ issuing passport to high profile criminals. One would think he would know better.

  18. AmazingFace
    January 30, 2012

    Good Luck with that.

  19. woii
    January 30, 2012

    I wonder how does someone sign a passport form by mistake?
    Wiltshire your eyes were closed man? And it seems to me your brain and your hand doing as they please without your permission. hmmm… boy u doh easy. :lol:

  20. Concern One
    January 30, 2012

    I will wait on he police investigation. I hope they are ready to prefer charges against all those who are involved in the scam. I do hope that you didn’t breach the law for you are required by law to know the person for whom you are signing a passport form. I think you have to know the person for over two years. What timing on your part, I guess you heard that the police is rapping up their case with charges coming your way.

  21. lisad
    January 30, 2012

    But wait…. Whenever you sign a passport form you are actually saying that you know the individual and everything on the form is true… You don’t need a law degree to know that.Probably Mr. Wiltshire did not know much about the individual and just did a favor but he cannot blame the police for arresting him.

    • Eagle Eye
      January 30, 2012

      You people must have a problem with simple comprehension. HE DID NOT KNOW THE PERSON WAS ENGAGED IN FRAUDULENT ACTIVITIES. He never denied knowing the person.

      • Formage Posse
        January 30, 2012

        On reading the comment, i can say the same about you having a problem with comprehension.

        I don’t see anything in Lisad’s comment which warrants your lil “dig”… all what he said is true – when you sign a passport form you are saying you know the individual and what he/she claims is true. Whether or not he knew the person was involved in criminal activities, he signed the document and he should have been investigated.

        Claiming to have signed a form by mistake as a lawyer brings no credibility to him. He doesn’t need to say he signed the form by mistake. It makes him look stupid and negligent.

        He could have said yes he signed the form without having the knowlegde that the person was involved in criminal activities using the passport.

        There was no error in signin gthe form…it’s his job as a lawyer to certify/guarantee documents. It had to have been bigger than just signing the 1 form to get him into so much hot water.

  22. January 30, 2012

    HE SAID HE DID NOT KNOW THAT THE PERSON HE SIGNED IT FOR WAS IN ANY SCAM…WHY CAN’T WE TAKE TIME TO READ AND UNDERSTAND…I KNOW MY BLOOD FAMILY SINCE I STARTED TO UNDERSTAND AT A VERY YOUNG AGE ,DO YOU THINK THAT I MUST KNOW WHAT THEY ARE CAPABLE OF DOING?I DO NOT KNOW THIS MAN ,HE MIGHT BE TELLING THE TRUTH OR A LIE BUT WE HAVE TO TAKE HIS WORD IN THIS MATTER AND WAIT FOR THE FINAL JUDGEMENT….SO MANY PEOPLE HAVE BEEN ARRESTED AND IMPRISONED INNOCENTLY SPECIALLY THE POOR PEOPLE ,,,WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND…IT IS TIME FOR THE THOSE WHO THOUGHT THAT THEY WERE UNTOUCHABLE TO START FEELING THE PAIN…SUCH PEOPLE NEVER STOOD UP WHEN THE POLICE WOULD DO UNLAWFUL THINGS TO THE POOR PEOPLE ,ALL THEY WANT FROM THEM IS MONEY,KNOWING IN ADVANCE THAT THEY DO NOT HAVE .THAT’S WHY I CAN ADVICE THE POOR PEOPLE NEVER WALK WITH YOUR HEADS DOWN FOR WHAT EVER THE POLICE WOULD ARREST YOU FOR.

    • WIKILEAKS
      January 30, 2012

      I KNOW MY BLOOD FAMILY SINCE I STARTED TO UNDERSTAND AT A VERY YOUNG AGE ,DO YOU THINK THAT I MUST KNOW WHAT THEY ARE CAPABLE OF DOING?

      So why are you defending…lol…just read and move on

    • BALTHAZAR
      January 30, 2012

      get work to do

    • Formage Posse
      January 30, 2012

      He said he signed the form by mistake “On merely signing a passport form by mistake, you would arrest the person and imprison them for ten hours”…

      How do you sign a passport form, as a lawyer, by mistake?
      Although he says that he had no knowledge as to whether the person was involved in criminal activity, its the police job to investigate him, as it’s his signature on the form.

      If he acted in his role as a lawyer, then a signed official document by a lawyer MAY carry more weight than a signed document by the common lay man.

  23. faceup
    January 30, 2012

    ONE LOVE BERNARD, WISH YOU THE BEST, GOOD LUCK.haha !!!

  24. Sugar Sugar
    January 30, 2012

    If you are a former attorney, you know well what you were signing and who you were siging the passport for, you are trying to tell me you didn’t knwo the person your were signing the passport for, than that is a fraud, because it clearly state on the form that you have to know the individual for a certain period of time before signing a passport…as an ATTORNEY you should knwo that… Booo YA!!!

    • Educated
      January 30, 2012

      Support u 100% on that Sugar Sugar. Yep!!!

    • Eagle Eye
      January 30, 2012

      So because you know me for 10 years, that means you know everything that I am into?

      You should change your name to Lime Lime.

    • MORE TO COME
      January 30, 2012

      @Sugar Sugar and the rest of you. These are his words to DNO
      “The attorney told Dominica News Online that he had filled out a passport form for an individual and signed the form without being aware that the man was involved in the alleged passport scam.”

      How difficult is that to comprehend? Gee I feel sorry for you guys down there

      • Sugar Sugar
        January 31, 2012

        “More to come”, if you have a passport you yourself should know, that the persons signing the passport form has to know the individual… It clearly states in the Passport form, The persons DO NOT have to fill the form. he only has to sign it and if he signs something for someone you have to know the person to sign the form, Oh please are you trying to tell me DA is so big that he as a lawyer it is his duty to do so, Doing a favor for someone or not he has to knwo the person, that’s the law and he took it into his hands So that is a FRAUD..
        So he sign a form with his eyes closed..

    • BALTHAZAR
      January 30, 2012

      nonsense you talking

  25. concerned
    January 30, 2012

    Sue is the name for the year in DA. these people are so immature. It is disapponting.

    • MORE TO COME
      January 30, 2012

      Nah I don’t agree with you there. If there is cause for concern at the way the police handle their business and try to make it their right then the individual should seek some kind of redress. TOO many times persons are held without just cause and the people who should be held up still walking and driving round and at that sometimes at the Taxpayers expense. SUE them I day then they will take more time to do their jobs…Things have been to easy in the hands of the Dominica police. They pick and choosing cars as I saw today to place their tickets on. MORE TO COME

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