Dear Editor,I write to convey my serious concern on the decision of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) to free the men responsible for the Lusignan Massacre of the charges which were laid against them.While the massacre may have caused fear to nestle in the hearts and minds of Guyanese men, women and children, the decision of the CCJ on May 11 sent shock waves of terror across the length and breadth of this land of many waters.Before one endeavours to examine the decision to which the court came, and whether justice was done, one must be reminded of how the case progressed through the courts of Guyana.On January 26, 2008, Lusignan was forever scarred by the massacre, which claimed eleven innocent lives, five of whom were children. The Police later arrested several men, two of whom were indicted for the murder of the eleven persons. Following a substantial misdirection and several material irregularities at the Victoria Law Courts, the jury unsurprisingly returned a verdict of not guilty.The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) appealed the acquittal. The Court of Appeal, in agreeing with the DPP, overturned the verdict of not guilty and ordered a retrial in the interest of justice.Thereafter, the duo appealed to the CCJ; which ruled, among other things, that their acquittal be restored.It is now that one would attempt to analyse, with brevity, the written decision of the CCJ. The court had many questions to answer before they could have come to a conclusion. It is worth noting that a majority of these questions being answered favourably for one side does not mean that that side has won the case. In this case, twelve (12) issues/questions arose, but the determining issue was the proper test to be applied on a prosecution appeal against an acquittal.The court posited that the prosecution must satisfy the court that, given on the one hand the nature and weight of the evidence as a whole, and on the other hand the seriousness of the judicial error(s) or procedural flaw(s), it can, with a substantial degree of certainty, be inferred that had the error(s) or flaw(s) not occurred, the trial would not have resulted in an acquittal of the accused.Apart from this test, which was strangely devised, the manner in which the court applied it is mind-boggling and most unfortunate. The CCJ found that there were significant irregularities in the selection of the jury, and the failure of the trial judge to order an investigation into the alleged improper communication with a juror constituted a material irregularity.Moreover, there was a substantial misdirection in the summation to the jury, to the extent that the trial judge failed to properly counterbalance the allegations of Police impropriety, launched by the accused from the safety of the dock, with a direction pointing out to the jury the fact that that allegation was not supported by evidence; and that great caution should have been taken when considering the allegations, since the accused could not have been cross-examined.How could they have agreed with the Guyana Court of Appeal on these points, YET allow the appeal? IT JUST DOES NOT FOLLOW!Notwithstanding all of these serious errors and flaws, the Trinidad-based court found that the sixteen (16) prosecution witnesses, which included Dwane Williams and Durwin Wright, who both testified as being part of the “Fine Man” gang when the appellants (James Hyles and Mark Williams) took active roles in killing the eleven innocent persons in Lusignan, did not constitute sufficient evidence upon which it could have ordered a retrial. The prosecution had two (2) witnesses, and the credibility of these witnesses IS AN ISSUE FOR THE JURY TO DECIDE, and not this final appellate court.If this foreign court cannot infer, from the overwhelming evidence adduced by the prosecution, that the jury would have convicted the appellants, then it cannot be depended upon to deliver decisions which are just and of a high quality.It is no wonder that most of the Caribbean countries have resisted accession to the CCJ. Guyana, Barbados, Belize and Dominica did not hold referendums to join the CCJ; and governments, fearing rejection because of the current rate at which the court is going, are and will continue to be reluctant to take that course of action. When St. Vincent held a referendum to determine whether their final appellate court should be in Trinidad, they rejected it. The decisions of the CCJ ferment widespread dissatisfaction because of their poor quality, and more and more, the people of Guyana and the rest of the Caribbean are coming to be cognisant of this fact.The time has come for the CCJ to be abolished, as it has not only failed the people of Guyana, but it has failed them miserably. Guyanese have been forced to deal with the CCJ because it had been left without a proper third court when the Republic abolished the Privy Council in 1972 and replaced it with nothing for thirty years.In 2001, when the CCJ was established, it was the hope of Guyanese that justices of that court would have displayed a great degree of erudition and skill. However, this has been proven to be quite far from the truth. Decisions like the one in the Lusignan Massacre case, Sichand Harrychand, AG for Guyana vs. Dipcon all point towards the direction of no-confidence.Dissatisfaction with the CCJ will intensify, and fewer cases will be taken to it, as justice is not being improved. The high standards of the Privy Council are not known by this regional court, which is losing the confidence of both the people of Guyana and other Caricom member states every time a decision is handed down.IN GIVING THE DECISION IT DID, THE COURT ACTED LIKE A FOREIGN COURT, REMOVED FROM THE PEOPLE OF GUYANA, AND PARTICULARLY THE PEOPLE OF LUSIGNAN.Sincerely,Ramesh GirdhireResident of Lusignan,Guyana
Police ranks in F Division (Interior Locations) have arrested an armed robbery suspect, who was found in possession of an illegal firearm along with matching ammunition.The illegal firearm with ammunition found in the possession of the robbery suspectThe suspect, a 35-year-old male of Industrial Area, Mackenzie, Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) was arrested in Cuyuni, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) with an unlicensed .32 pistol and five matching rounds.According to the Guyana Police Force, the suspect was wanted for questioning in connection with robbery under arms.It was reported that the man was seen by the Police about 09:00h on Friday in Kumung-Kumung, Region Seven.The Police said that following his apprehension, a search was conducted on the suspect during which the firearm and ammunition were found in his possession. The man has been taken into custody, and the illegal weapon was confiscated as investigations continue.
Powell gave credit to not only Mather but to her Red Dragon Martial Arts Master Ben Marsh as he has been training her from the beginning, even though he wasn’t able to make the trip. She said,“Ben is such a great coach. He expects the most out of you and if you slack off at all he isn’t afraid to yell at you just to get you back focused on your training.”While over in Maui, Mather stated the twelve-year-old martial artist was invited to events in Toronto and Las Vegas in early 2018. Maui, Hawaii – Twelve-year-old Mikah Powell returned home Wednesday from Hawaii after a very successful Taekwondo International Championship.The grade seven student at Bert Bowes Middle School traveled overseas last Wednesday along with coach and stepfather Jody Mather for her first international competition. She ended up bringing home two silver medals and a gold medal in the three events she participated in. Mikah Powell said,“I felt I performed very well, we have been training for a while, up to four days a week and two hours a day. The training I did over there was taken very seriously. There was no time for games at the end of each session, they trained us hard.”On Saturday the yellow belt faced competition from Montreal, Alaska and South Korea and felt that the competition was the some of the best she has ever faced. Each match consists of two rounds in each match with each round consisting of two minutes each, the winner is based on how many points they receive for placement of kicks or knockout.- Advertisement -Mather felt that Powell handled herself extremely well as she has been involved in the sport for four years now. As there’s a big difference in the martial arts style in the United States, even though it’s the same age group. He said,“The Taekwondo in the United States is very different compared to in Canada. It was a very big learning curve for Mikah. We don’t dive into the nitty-gritty of the sport like they do in the U.S., it’s very vicious.”Advertisement
0Shares0000Messi celebrates grabbing the equaliser along with Andres IniestaLONDON, United Kingdom, Feb 20 – Lionel Messi struck for the first time in nine games against Chelsea to give Barcelona the upper hand from the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday by salvaging a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.Willian’s fine strike just after the hour mark had put Chelsea in command after earlier hitting both posts in the first half. However, one moment of carelessness cost Chelsea dear as Andres Iniesta intercepted Andreas Christensen’s pass to tee up Messi to swing the balance of the tie in Barca’s favour 15 minutes from time.The English champions must now score when they travel to the Camp Nou on March 14 to have any chance of making the last eight.Barcelona star Lionel Messi celebrates with his long-time team-mate Andres Iniesta after they combined to score the goal. PHOTO/ DAILY MAILChelsea manager Antonio Conte sprang a surprise before kick-off by leaving out both Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata with Eden Hazard instead operating in the middle of a front three featuring Willian and former Barca winger Pedro Rodriguez.And it was Hazard who sent the first warning that Barca were in for an uncomfortable evening when he fired just over from 20 yards five minutes in.Antonio Rudiger also headed just wide in a positive opening from the hosts, but it was Barca who had the first clear chance on 16 minutes.Chelsea constantly tried to surround Messi with three or four blue shirts to limit the Argentine’s threat, but he dug out a cross to the far post where an unmarked Paulinho headed wide.Barca then went on to dominate possession for a large spell of the first half with their control of the ball reaching 80 percent at one stage.However, the visitors lacked penetration before the break and were lucky to go in level at half-time.Chelsea’s No 22 is joined by his Chelsea team-mates bu the corner flag after scoring the opening goal of the two-legged tie. Photo/DAILY MAILWillian showed his ability to score from outside the box off either foot with a double against Hull City to take Chelsea into the FA Cup quarter-finals on Friday.He was inches away from another long-range stunner when he curled onto the post from 25 yards with Marc-Andre ter Stegen beaten in the Barca goal.Barca had kept six clean sheets in their previous seven Champions League games, but once again had good luck rather than good defending to thank four minutes before the break when Willian hooked another effort from outside the box off the woodwork.Ter Stegen dives to his right in an attempt to save a shot from Willian, but is spared when it bounces off his goalpost. Photo/DAILY MAILHazard then volleyed just over as Chelsea ended the half on a high.Barca appeared to have restored order early second period, but failed to learn their lesson of Willian’s danger from the edge of the box.A short corner was worked into the Brazilian’s path and he arrowed a low shot past the rooted Ter Stegen.However, Barca remain unbeaten in 31 La Liga and Champions League games under Ernesto Valverde thanks to a late rally.Chelsea manager Antonio Conte (right) gesticulates wildly on the touchline after seeing Willian hit the post for a second time. Photo/DAILY MAILLuis Suarez had claims for a penalty waved away when he went down under pressure from Rudiger.But Barca’s protests had barely been silenced before they were level.Christensen’s dangerous ball across his own box was a gift for an old scourge of Chelsea in Iniesta.At the end where he broke Chelsea hearts with a stoppage-time equaliser in a highly controversial semi-final in 2009, Iniesta this time squared for Messi to apply the finishing touch low past Thibaut Courtois for his 28th goal of the season.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
BOOK: TRW co-founder, Northrop chairman want to help company leaders improve forecasting skills. By Muhammed El-Hasan STAFF WRITER The chairman and CEO of Northrop Grumman Corp. is collaborating with the co-founder of TRW Inc. to write a book on forecasting change, trends and the next big thing. Ramo lunches with Sugar about once a month. Those lunches led to the idea of jointly writing the book. “We each have an agenda and ? one of our things on the agenda was how to predict things,” Ramo explained. Ramo gave several examples of companies that failed to see the future, and as a result were left in the past. For example, makers of vacuum tubes – a technological precursor to semiconductors – missed the modern computer revolution, Ramo said. “Not a single company that made vacuum tubes makes semiconductors,” Ramo said. The goal of making sound predictions is “to see the opportunities and act on them,” he added. “It causes you to enhance the positive in the future and minimize the negatives.” To a great extent, Ramo’s long career and achievements have rested on his ability to predict where the defense industry was headed. Ramo led the nation’s intercontinental ballistic missile program during the Cold War, perhaps his most heralded achievement. Fifty years ago this year, Ramo and fellow engineer Dean Wooldridge started the Redondo Beach company that would later become TRW. Ramo also created a company wholly owned by TRW that he named Space Technology Labs, which went on to develop Pioneer 1, the first spacecraft built by private industry. The company also made Pioneer 10, the first spacecraft to leave the solar system. Today, that Redondo Beach facility known as Space Park builds some of the world’s most advanced space systems, including satellites and missile defense systems. In addition, Ramo has written numerous books on technology and business, and a book on tennis. The working title for Ramo and Sugar’s book is The Paradox of Prediction: The Art and Science of Useful Forecasting. The word “paradox” is included in the title because “you must do it, yet it’s impossible.” “It’s obviously an art. And it’s not unscientific,” Ramo said of predicting the future. “People assume that science has to be 100 percent accurate.” Yet, when attacking a problem with objectivity and an understanding of the determining factors, “you can’t say it’s unscientific.” The book will be relevant to many fields and circumstances beyond the defense industry, Ramo said. He cited as examples medical clinics, universities, homebuilders, Little League and even symphony orchestras. “If you’re managing anything, you had better prepare for things changing,” he said. “You can’t wait for things to happen and then react.” Ramo said he expects the book to be published in about a year. email@example.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Northrop head Ronald Sugar and Simon Ramo, who is famously known as the R in TRW, have been working on the book for the past year, Ramo said Friday. The idea behind the manuscript is that companies must peer into the future in order to stay relevant. “We figure between us, we’ve got the past to look at why so many leaders have been wrong in their predictions ? and how to increase your chances of doing it well,” Ramo said during an interview at Northrop Grumman’s Redondo Beach-based Space Technology sector. Ramo said “too little” has been written on this subject. Northrop bought TRW in 2002. Ramo, 94, is semi-retired and serves as a consultant to Northrop, giving the Century City-based defense contractor advice and insight into his broad view of the industry.