Did he ?

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Did he or didn’t he? Whether or not Attorney General (AG) Yatin Varma hit Florent Jeannot is anybody’s guess. It is at this juncture a matter of one person’s word against the other’s. Except that the “one word” is the word of an AG and the other “word” comes from an average citizen who happens to have for lawyer a member of the MMM; I don’t know that it’s necessarily relevant but Yatin Varma did seem to want to emphasize that point.

In normal circumstances, one would tend to give more credence to the word of an AG. I mean it can objectively be argued, can’t it, that a political opponent could, if given the chance, choose to sully the reputation of a member of government? On top of that Varma was accompanied at the material time by his elderly father and his two young children. No self-respecting man would act so brutishly in front of his underage kids and his father, huh?

Except that our dear AG showed his true colours last Sunday when our colleague Jean Yves Chavrimootoo spoke to him over the phone. I have too much respect for you to report what Yatin Varma said to my colleague but I’m happy to say that Jean Yves Chavrimootoo, imperturbable all through the phone conversation, remained polite and even thanked the AG for taking his call.

It then came to light that while Yatin Varma only has his father vouching for his good behaviour, Florent Jeannot had a few more, willing to testify against Varma. In different statements given to the police, they describe Yatin Varma’s violent behaviour, how he got out of his car, pounced on Jeannot, hit him repeatedly in the face all the while swearing at him, refusing to listen to Jeannot’s apologies, grabbing the guy’s phone and throwing it away. Witnesses say they were utterly shocked by Varma’s behaviour but did not dare intervene for fear of reprisals. One of them, a civil servant said in daily «Le Mauricien» that he would have gone to the police but for the fear that he might be persecuted.

“Varma is a minister after all”, he told «Le Mauricien». He is indeed – well sort of; that’s why I guess the police haven’t summoned him yet. Despite the fact that the alleged victim has reported the matter to the police, that he has been treated for his injuries and that witnesses have come forward to testify in his favour. Varma tellingly, hasn’t been to the police. He went instead to a private clinic and came out with his hand bandaged. He didn’t fi le a form 58 so we don’t know the extent of his injuries.

It is obviously possible to sort this problem out; by way of a police enquiry. So, could we possibly ask the police to please stop prevaricating? To summon Varma once and for all, to complete that enquiry and to refer the matter to the DPP?

It can’t be that hard, surely?

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