Whiny Prosecutor Loses Case

Monday 07th, March 2011 / 10:15 Published by

Disgruntled former prosecutor Cheryl Grant-Bethell lost her court battle to overturn Jamaican attorney Vinette Graham-Allen’s appointment to the post of Director of Public Prosecutions.

In typical Bahamian fashion of twisting facts, the beleagured attorney has declared a “victory” in the case because she feels that the judge “cleared” her reputation.

What the judge really did was criticize the manner in which damaging information regarding Mrs Grant-Bethell was handled by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission (JLSC).

Mrs Grant-Bethell had filed an application for judicial review after she was passed over for the post of Director of Public Prosecutions. She was instead given the job of Deputy Law Reform Commissioner.

In a written judgement, which is rare in The Bahamas, Senior Justice Jon Isaacs sided with the government and refused to grant the relief sought by Mrs Grant-Bethell.

Trying to save face and twist events to her favour, Mrs Grant-Bethell told the media:

“I feel like my reputation today was cleared. That is why I came. I have given 20 long years of clean, competent and patriotic service and I was extremely aggrieved by the actions that were taken and today I feel that my reputation was cleared and for me that is a victory.”

That’s odd, because everybody else thought she came to court to get her old job back… which didn’t happen.

Commenting after the trial, Senior Justice Isaacs said, “There has been much interest generated by this case. I think it is so because it evokes fears of qualified Bahamians being overlooked when high offices become available while invasive hordes of foreigners seemed poised to overwhelm the indigenous population.”

The comment leaves many wondering if Isaacs is fit for the job as senior justice, given his extraordinary bias against foreigners.

Judge Isaacs has often been said to be a “danger to society” as he regularly allows dangerous criminals to be released on bail for reasons that no one but he and certain corrupt defence attorneys understand.

Despite his bias and his partiality towards Mrs Grant-Bethell, Justice Isaacs was smart enough to realize that it would be unconstitutional for him to interfere with the JLSC’s decision to appoint Mrs Graham-Allen as DPP.

“There are certain decisions which are not capable of being reviewed judicially among them are those concerned with judicial appointments and appointments as Queen’s Counsel,” the judge said.

The part of the judgement that pleased the hapless Grant-Bethell and her attorneys had to do with Justice Isaacs’ criticism of the way the Security Intelligence Branch handled a report submitted to the JLSC that allegedly contained allegations against Mrs Grant-Bethell.  It is information in this report that may have led to her being overlooked for the post of DPP.

Her attorneys had argued she was not afforded the opportunity to defend herself against those allegations.  However, it was a confidential report and Ms Grant-Bethell had no right to even see it, yet alone question it or “defend herself” against it.

Regarding the report, Justice Isaacs said:

“It was requested by the Commission for its evaluation of the applicant’s suitability to be appointed as the DPP. It appears SIB provided the report to the OAG. This is highly improper and is a breach of Regulation 7 if the arguments of counsel for the respondents are accepted that disclosure of any reports may constitute a criminal offence.

“Although the commission may use other agencies of the state to assist it in carrying out its functions, those agencies are expected to erect a ‘Chinese Wall’ and treat those matters as confidential to the commission and separate from their governmental responsibilities. It is unfortunate that matters meant for limited publication and which ought to have been of little concern to the world at large have become fodder for meddlers.”

But they haven’t, say legal experts!  The allegations were never disclosed, not even during the judicial review. The supposedly damaging report has been kept confidential, except that it was given to the Attorney General’s Office presumably to determine if criminal charges should be filed. Observers say the judge’s comments were out of line and show undue partiality to Mrs. Grant-Bethell.

Isaacs also said that Mrs Grant-Bethell’s reputation had been tarnished in the process of denying her the DDPP position and by her transfer for the DDPP post. More foolishness from a judge fast loosing his credibility.

Grant Bethell’s attorneys, Maurice Glinton and Wayne Munroe, said they are reluctant to consider it as an option but there is always the right of appeal.

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