The revolving door

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Because you know the law, you may be getting away with murder. For murder is what drug trafficking is indeed about. Killing our children, ravaging our communities, through addiction and the associated violence, and breaking families apart. And your family and community are not less at risk than mine.

The latest revelations made to the Commission of Inquiry on Drugs – a little oasis in a scorching hot desert – have brought to the forefront a terrible possibility: that of well-heeled, respectable-looking lawyers having close links arguably going beyond professional relationships with the drug mafia!  

According to the information available so far, it would appear that at least three of the lawyers “on the radar” of the Commission are barristers close to, or part of, the ruling party. They are Raouf Gulbul, who is heading the Law Reform Commission and the Gambling Regulatory Authority, PPS Roubina Jadoo-Jaunbocus, who has only recently stopped battering our ears with her shrieking about “cleaning” the country, and Deputy Speaker Sanjeev Teeluckdharry, who had been too busy to attend parliament regularly since he was elected.

One wonders whether it’s just bad luck that one political party has been attracting the same kind of people!

And let’s stop the spin doctoring: we are not talking about lawyers who defend drug traffickers. The Commission is not calling lawyers to tell them off for doing their job, which most of them do ethically. The reason some lawyers have been parading at the Commission is that, instead of sticking to their job of providing a defence for their clients in accordance with the rules of ethics of the Bar, they might have crossed the Rubicon and become accomplices in the drug business, making it harder for the police to ferret out the drug traffickers.

There is no dearth of evidence: According to records and witnesses who deponed before the Commission, there were telephone calls to prison inmates from lawyers, unsolicited visits to drug lords, money going into lawyers’ bank accounts which they can’t justify, purchases they can’t explain…But they still don’t blink! Worse, those who are caught in the headlights suddenly start suffering from an acute bout of Alzheimer’s. They don’t remember whether they visited inmates they have no business visiting; they have no recollection of how money has miraculously landed in their bank accounts; they can’t recall how their dreams of owning assets they cannot afford have been miraculously fulfilled…

Now that the shady dealings have come into the light, will the lawyers occupying public office who are allegedly involved in this mess have the dignity to resign until the inquiry is over? No, perish the thought! Will the prime minister ask them to resign so that the pompous rhetoric about mercilessly fighting drugs starts to have more meaning? Of course not! Considering his coming case in the Privy Council, he himself should have resigned from a position he should never have been in in the first place.

So what do we end up with? A president of the GRA who is regulating an industry, in some ways closely related to the drug business, a PPS who continues to be referred to as ‘Honourable’ and a deputy speaker who will carry on drawing his salary without being allowed to preside over the National Assembly debates for fear of protests from the opposition!

I wish you the same kind of punishment!

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