Mon | Nov 18, 2019

Politicians hugging up gangsters will be exposed - Samuda

Published:Saturday | December 1, 2018 | 12:00 AMLivern Barrett/Senior Parliamentary Reporter
Matthew Samuda

A Government Senator charged yesterday that "prominent people in our political space" are providing support for gangsters before sounding an ominous warning.

"At a later date and at an appropriate time, this country will be given more details about these wrongdoers," Matthew Samuda warned.

"They know themselves, and if we are to improve the state of our nation, they must stop it or be made to stop it," added Samuda, who was making his contribution to the State of the Nation Debate in the Senate.

Outside the Senate, the lawmaker left little doubt that he was referring to members of the Opposition People's National Party (PNP).

"My specific reference is not to any of my colleagues on the government side, but I encourage all members of the political process to exercise care and caution in how they conduct themselves," he told The Gleaner.

 

DAMNING REPORT

 

Samuda, in his presentation, charged that there are "prominent people in our political space" who are vocal about crime and violence and publicly appeal to the Government "to do this and do that" to tackle the crime monster.

"But they are hugging up gangsters, supporting dons, and funding criminality," he declared.

Samuda also dismissed as alarmist and conflated a report by Public Defender Arlene Harrison-Henry lamenting the conditions at the police lock-ups used to house persons detained in the ongoing state of public emergency (SOE) in St James.

Harrison-Henry, in a damning report last week to the Internal and External Committee of Parliament, revealed that her office found scores of inmates who were afflicted with rashes and other illnesses. She disclosed, too, that there was overcrowding, unsanitary conditions, and substandard meals.

Samuda conceded that the findings are not to be dismissed, but said, "Regrettably, what the public defender said is nothing new."

"In fact, I am aware that there are reports over a decade ago, not tabled in Parliament but currently in the public defender's office gathering dust, which speak to similar conditions in facilities all across the country," he said.

"This is something to be addressed as quickly as we possibly can. These conditions have nothing to do with the current SOE declared in crime hotspots."

livern.barrett@gleanerjm.com