Senior Counsel, Tony Astaphan, has weighed in on the alleged leaking of legal documents in a high-profile case involving men facing allegations of inappropriate behavior with a minor, saying it is an ‘evil practice.’
He underscored the need for the police to uncover and bring to justice the person(s) responsible — regardless of their status.
“And, the police need to find out, not just who got it, but who that person may have given it to, and how did it end up on the internet — whether it involves a lawyer, a civilian, or a politician, I do not know; but something has to be done to stop that sort of evil practice taking place,” Astaphan stated on state-owned DBS Radio.
He said the true crime lays not with unauthorized persons possessing the documents but with posting them on the internet.
Astaphan remarked that such action holds no gain for parties involved in the matter and impedes the administration of justice.
“I think the high moral crime and the high political crime and the high criminal crime that has taken place here to infect the trial, and the due process, and pre-trial prejudice is not the ‘leaking’ or coming into possession of statements, but actually taking the additional step of putting it on the internet,” he noted. “And, whether you keep publishing photographs and statements or whatever have you on the internet by anonymous names, it does nothing for the victim, it does nothing for the due process, it does nothing for the principles of a fair trial. All it does is contaminate the administration of justice for cheap political gains.”
The police have already announced that they have started an investigation into the matter and Astaphan said they must find the source of the documents, and the person(s) to whom the documents were initially released.
“I think the Police need to conduct an investigation about how was it possible for documents to leave the Police Station and end up in the hands of somebody — whoever that individual is, and where did it go from that individual,” he said. “Did it go from that individual to another person, or a lawyer, or a politician, or a friend — any one of these four responsible for publishing the information on the internet…”