Attorney describes Sanford’s arrest as ‘political’ and a ‘witch hunt’

Sanford greets supporters after his release

Gildon Richards one of the three lawyers representing former deputy leader of the United Workers Party (UWP), Claudius Sanford, has described his arrest by the police as “political”.

Sanford, who lectures at the Dominica State College (DSC), was detained in the early morning of Wednesday at his home by the police.

Speaking to reporters when Sanford was released after his over 10-hour detention on Wednesday afternoon, Richards said, “this is the most patent witch hunt that I have even seen.”

“Mr. Sanford (Claudius) was picked up this morning February 15, 2017 on an allegation that he had subverted the government’s process and therefore he was arrested on suspicion of that. By the time that we got to police headquarters and the interview was over, Mr. Sanford was being told he would be charged with obstruction,” Richards said.

He continued; “The question is, obstruction of whom? He was then told that he would be charged with obstruction of Superintendent Cuffy. Which Cuffy? Superintendent Matthew Cuffy… Who is Superintendent Matthew Cuffy? The head of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID).Who preferred the charge? A woman corporal of police, not the superintendent who was said to have been obstructed.”

According to him, Sanford asked the police whether Superintendent Matthew Cuffy said that he had obstructed him. But, according to Richards, the person who preferred the charge is yet to answer.

Richards said that the police administration at the lower levels has no interest in the matter.

“The person interested is the Acting Deputy Chief of police (Davidson Valerie) whose appointment, the leader of the United Workers Party is questioning in court,” he stated. “The interview ended at midday and Sanford was only released at 3:30 pm. The deputy chief of police (acting) had to consult with Rayburn Blackmoore, the Minister of National security, a politician not the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) who then has to consult with Anthony Astaphan abroad to determine whether Sanford leaves police headquarters.”

He said this is an absurdity that now pervades “the whole of the police administration”.

“Today it is not policing, it is give me a benefit by promotion and I will perpetuate the dirty work that you want to do in the police force,” Richards alleged. “If those of us who know of something better do not stand to protect the fundamental rights of people in Dominica then we will get something else for which we will be sorry.”

Sanford is due to appear in court on April 28, 2017 where the charge of obstruction will be formerly read to him.

The other attorneys on his legal team are David Bruney and Ronald Charles.

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  1. St joe massive
    February 17, 2017

    Pictures say a thousand words my friends the man was in front the truck preventing it from going forward

  2. mine
    February 16, 2017

    So you are are happy with all the damages that was done by monsters may God have mearcy on all of you.

    • Lang Mama
      February 16, 2017

      i am sad that you are brain damaged though.

  3. February 16, 2017

    you really can see when some one is losing it once skerrit have to resort to those measures tells you that the man is becoming a shadow of himself.

  4. Music Producer
    February 16, 2017

    “The deputy chief of police (acting) had to consult with Rayburn Blackmoore, the Minister of National security, a politician not the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) who then has to consult with Anthony Astaphan abroad to determine whether Sanford leaves police headquarters.” :mrgreen: :twisted: 8-O

  5. Observing
    February 16, 2017

    I hope that PM Skerrit, et al, will see that their scatter-brained witch hunt is not bearing the fruits that they want to hatch and stop bringing the opposition in for questioning even after they told us they had ironclad intelligence about the planned coup and the UWP paid the young men to vandalize the town.

    They should now come out and apologize to the public for this boldfaced farce and exercise true leadership; not political victimization because the opposition is talking about their acts that is crippling Dominica and tarnishing its name. I have children, and this selling of passports to dodgy individuals is of concern to me; I am concerned that our passport in the hands of so many criminals may make it difficult for my children to travel tomorrow. Only Foolish, coloured-blind people would take this lightly. Instead of harassing the opposition, Skerrit et al should be addressing these concerns. Should the opposition allow such concerning issues to slip by and say nothing?

  6. It's Very Cloudy
    February 16, 2017

    I am very afraid for Dominica because these wicked, evil, and corrupt men are bent on doing some more evil so they could blame them on UWP. Traditionally during Carnival they announcing cameras planted all over Roseau. You realize NOT one thing this time? If they were concerned safety of citizens definitely with the atmosphere in DA these days, they would do the right thing and cancel carnival. But they wont because something is telling me that they may have arranged with visitors to carry a plot $ run, so opposition will be jailed.

  7. YESAH
    February 16, 2017

    WAW?! 8-O So I can come to the assumption that the police took him to HQ on squat. Only at the headquarters they decided to charge with Obstruction. Where did this obstruction took place? On the day of the protest? On the day of arrest?
    Junior officers have a right to show no interest in this matter. What is going on is pure nonsense and and embarrassment to all the logically thinking officers and their families along with the country.
    And what does Blackmoore and Astaphan have to do with that? Are they Sworn in Police officers now? Are they paid advisers to the Police Department?
    Dominicans open your eyes, the only thing that is missing in Dominica right now is for the Skerrit Government to formally put on the books that Dominica is now a communist State.

  8. It's Very Cloudy
    February 16, 2017

    Dominica especially Roseau, is very cloudy as the evil, corrupt, and malice Skerrit, Blackmore and Carbon continue to plan and bring their evil plots to pass in Dominica. One does not need any level of education to see their wicked plans. First it was 2 barrels of guns that were brought in the island and some how they allowed the importer to walk free, even after they were tipped by the FBI. Then it was the arrest of Dr. arrest for a statement made 2 yrs ago. Then way they provoked the protestors last Tuesday until it got dark so they and their team could perform. Then they arrested Dr. Fontaine and Claudius Sanford and they are not finished, but want us to stay calm. With the climate they have created in Dominica weeks before Carnival when visitors will be coming down, you realized they have not said a thing about camera’s that will be installed to ensure carnival is safe, and, they have not cancelled carnival? Why? They so evil that I feel they have some evils coming for the fete

  9. Sakay boy
    February 16, 2017

    How can his arrest be political? Eh? What else can be arrested for? Look at the amount of DAMAGE to businesses in Roseau their protest caused. That protest could have been peaceful. So the police must just roll over and not do anything about this kind of behavior? Aren’t they there to enforce LAW and ORDER?

    The police chief is correct in saying that the investigations will continue. Persons must be held accountable and charged for the damage and unnecessary stress caused to these businesses.

    • dyco
      February 16, 2017


    • Look It
      February 17, 2017

      zor sot eh…..all you skerrit supporters

  10. papa
    February 16, 2017

    Develope the country and stop that political stuff come together as one for a better Dominica

  11. YungMusician
    February 16, 2017

    Really dude! How do you know that the Deputy Chief contacted Blackmore and not the DPP? And how do you know that Blackmore contacted Anthony Astaphan overseas? I guess all these calls were made in your presence. Yet you guys want to be taken seriously. 15 years of lies, exaggeration, distorted facts and fanciful conspiracies are way past comical now, it’s downright embarrassing!

    • Slowing Moving Out
      February 16, 2017

      Well, if DNO is falsely accusing the police for getting info from the top before releasing Stanford; then, suggest to your party what it does best, and sue DNO nuh….

      On another note….as a young musician, you should be asking yourself, why I am not being paid handsomely in Dominica for my music and rally other musician to lobby for augmented paid rather than your trying to defend the gov’t and their senseless act.

      • YungMusician
        February 16, 2017

        You lack comprehension skills.. :lol: . I was not referring to DNO. Was referring to the lawyer. Take your time to read and understand before you comment. And I’m being paid handsomely by the way. :lol: :lol:

  12. reginalddd
    February 16, 2017

    Good Luck

  13. 4progress
    February 16, 2017

    WOW….corruption all over!!!!!

  14. mine
    February 16, 2017

    Sandford stay away from thses guys. You did not attened their last election in mahaut because i recalled i read you were not interested. You came back you ended up arrested, sir learn form this .

  15. Mona
    February 16, 2017

    Glad for Sanford there are other lawyers involved. Checko’s “no show defense” is an excellent example of what I am alleging.

  16. Tj
    February 16, 2017

    Trumpt up charges. Look at what we come too. Tony astaphan must determine if Sanford can leave. Why is this fellow given powers that is not his? The police leadership is compromising their professionalism and they know it. Power corrupt and a handful of persons should not dictate for the majority.
    Finally my faith is being restored with some of DA lawyers.

  17. jerry sinclair
    February 16, 2017

    10 hours extrordinary, this in the UK would have lasted no more than 4 hours maximum and it would not have been at 3 am knock on the door, this places the victim at a disadvantage, In the UK clear guidlines state that the Police must not waste court time on trivialities so here is a case of the police wasting Police time. in the Uk obstrucction is first a verbal warning on the spot stating that if the individual concerned does not “move along” then he could be arrested and charged the way it appears to be done in Dominica is really quite opposite the expected practice.

    A question begs to be asked, Why is Skerrit so quiet all of a sudden I consider that all of this foolisheness of blatantly spurious charges are a diversion to take away any focus on the Prime Minister

  18. anonymous2
    February 16, 2017

    This government is out of control.

  19. Matt Sam
    February 16, 2017

    Let the Police do their work. You all are too wicked. After you wrecked the city, defied the Police orders, blatantly broke the law, you want to be left alone to do as you please. You don’t expect the Police to investigate. Let the Police do their work and stop and stop whining you little sissies who were playing barjan only a week ago.

  20. Erasmus B. Black
    February 16, 2017

    And so it continues.
    The Dear Leader has spoken very clearly and informed the nation, per several news reports, that plans were in motion for an attempted overthrow of government on Tuesday February 7. However, he was allegedly informed beforehand by opposition good people who did not agree with the overthrow plans. Allegedly, the information was relayed to the police and security officials. Given the circumstances, the question as to where the police were on the night of the attempted overthrow on February 7, during the destruction in the city, still has not been addressed. The Dear Leader is an Honourable man. He said in effect that plans by bad people to do bad things on the night of February 7 were relayed to the police. So, shouldn’t they have been on high alert in the city and environs on that night? This should be consequential. Heads should roll!

  21. The Truth Be Told - Original
    February 16, 2017

    We will see if it is political and a witch hunt.
    You are not above the Law. You are obligated to obey the Law and not to obstruct the Police. This also means to have respect for the Police.
    They expect to start an uprising, burn down buildings and the Police will stand idle by. How can they as nationals expect that of the Police?
    The world is hearing/viewing and listening. We do not like what is occurring, this unrest in Dominica which UWP has wrought upon Dominica. One day you will pay for this.

  22. Look it
    February 15, 2017

    Mama look it in DA….. obstruction of what?????

    So they jimmyfixing charges too lol…. and someone tell what Tony has to do with this, why is Tony being consulted concerning someone being released and you mean to tell me Blackmoore doesn’t have work to do, that he has to police this so call investigation. Dominicans I’m sorry for allu eh!

  23. February 15, 2017

    Our honourable PM’s ship is sinking and he is trying everything to keep it afloat but the rudder and keel is broken and he is losing control fast. It’s just a matter of time before he goes under.

  24. Doc. Love
    February 15, 2017

    I would like to make another prediction, I am predicting Sanford will be fired as a lecturer at the state college. As far as they are concerned, his firing will be as a result of not setting a respectable and positive example to the students at the state college.

  25. LaPlaine Observer
    February 15, 2017

    This is preposterous. So, if Tony Astaphans who is away at this time, had decided that Mr Sanford not be released, he would still be detained? Who is running the country? This level of absurdity has reached epidemic proportion in Dominica. This is a distraction ploy to shift the focus from the shameful passport crisis facing this regime by redirecting the attention on members of the opposition.

  26. MWEN
    February 15, 2017

    All Amnals are equal, but some are more equal than others!
    Poor Dominica!

  27. indira Ghandi
    February 15, 2017

    Has Dominica gone mad?
    Look like men have lost their reason

  28. Dominica Trade House
    February 15, 2017
  29. Dominica Trade House
    February 15, 2017

    More I read the article below about how, and where, the half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s was killed, the better I understand why Roosevelt is living such a fearful life and why he wants to harass opposition leaders. Skerrit, he that seeks you is not Dominican by birth!

    Notice : “Malaysian police on Wednesday detained a woman holding Vietnam travel papers and said they were looking for a “few” other foreign suspects.” Notice some very important things about this arrest:

    1. It took place in Malaysia. Where did Mr. Monfared run his my dominica trade house again? Please don’t tell me is Malaysia.
    2. The detained woman was holding “Vietnam travel papers” .
    3. Here is what I am really afraid for: they were looking for a “few” other foreign suspects



  30. Silent Observer
    February 15, 2017

    Is Mr. Astaphan in charge of the CDPD now? The Deputy Chief had to get word from the Minister of Security and in turn he had to get word from his boss to release someone from police costody? According to the Boss himself, Hogwash!

  31. The Thinker
    February 15, 2017

    We must wake up.The process of release,if it is accurate, confirms beyond a shadow of doubt that we are close to total dictatorship.This should be the headline news.

  32. %
    February 15, 2017

    That’s the reason why we must not just talk about this on island,we must show all the corners of the globe the level of political persecution and harrassment,that the Skerrit led labour party,and the Carbon led failed police institution,are unleashing upon members of the opposition…Lets expose those evil beings..

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