Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan has spoken against persons who seek to try matters which are before the courts in the media.
Addressing a Red Day celebration activity at Macoucherie Beach yesterday, Astaphan told supporters that many prominent persons of society have been discussing matters that are before the courts on the radio and other media outlets. This, he said, is prejudicial to his client’s (Roosevelt Skerrit) case and infringing on his constitutional rights.
“You have people on the Q95…disguised as media people, disguised as genuine Dominicans, all of whom are hidden supporters of the Dominica Freedom Party and United Workers Party. But of concern to me is that prominent members of society, former political leaders, former judges, former acting chief justices are pontificating on issues in a manner prejudicial to the position of Roosevelt Skerrit when matters are before the courts,” he stated.
“Roosevelt Skerrit, like every citizen of this state, has the right to a fair trial and not through trial by radio, not through electronic leeching or radio, because none of the Q95 …none of the UWP… none of the dying Freedom Party… and these fraudsters who pretend they are Dominicans are going to judge and convict Roosevelt Skerrit on the radio so long as I and you are alive,” he said.
He added, “We live in a country where the rule of law says that we must not prejudge and we must not interfere with the administration of justice and we must not bring the administration of justice into disrepute.”
Astaphan said that several politicians on the opposition side have served in leadership governmental positions for years as dual citizens in the past.
“There were members of the Dominica Freedom Party who sat down in that parliament and who sat down in that cabinet holding citizenship in other countries and said nothing for 10 years and 15 years. They are members of the United Workers Party. Peter Carbon, Ron Green, that were American citizens for years swore the same declaration, sat in the same parliament, sat in the same cabinet and said nothing and those former political leaders, those former judges, those former chief justices, said nothing,” he stated.
“Yet they all over the Caribbean and radio saying that if the allegations are true Skerrit will resign. Skerrit will not resign! Skerrit is not going to resign! Skerrit will never resign! So put that in your pipe and smoke it!” he stated on the platform.