District Leader Albert Baldeo, a former Magistrate, Senior Prosecutor and Police Legal Advisor in Guyana, who holds the distinction of being the first Special Prosecutor appointed in Guyana’s history to prosecute and expedite cases of public and national importance, in a dedicated, Special Magistrate’s Court, way back in 1985, wishes to remind everyone that, “Justice delayed is justice denied, and this injustice equally applies to the people of the Republic of Guyana. Indeed, the election fraud case is even more pivotal.”
“I must agree with AG, Hon. Anil Nandlall, and share his indignation, when he rightly expressed his dissatisfaction with the lack of progress in bringing the election fraud case to trial, when he stated, “After three years, those charges have not been able to secure a trial date. I’m the Minister of Justice, I cannot be pleased with this state, no decent-minded Guyanese can be pleased with this state of affairs.” No Magistrate has any excuse to shy away from trying this very important matter,” Baldeo lamented.
In fact, he/she must rise to the occasion, if only to satisfy the international concerns that the rule of law is alive and well in Guyana, and confirm to all that we are deserving of our global ascendancy, as a nation proud of its basic institutions, as obtains here. Judicial functionaries are reminded of the words of the famous Judge, Lord Mansfield, who posited, “Let justice be done, though the heavens fall.” Indeed, President Theodore Roosevelt cautions us that, “No man is above the law and no man is below it-nor do we ask any man’s permission when we ask him to obey it.”
This travesty must be remedied by the Chancellor (Ag.) promptly exercising her supervisory authority over Magistrates in the country, as a matter of fulfilling her public duty, and dedicate a Special Magistrate to hear and conclude these cases without any further delays, rhymes or excuses. The people are fed up with spurious excuses previously advanced for recusal, and accepted, and she must put an end to this charade. “Grow a spine, and go swim with the sharks, you will become a better lawyer,” were the admonishments given by senior lawyers, in my time at the bar in Guyana, which still ring true today.
Indeed, Mr. Vishnu Bisram recalls the precedent which the Chancellor and Magistrates must follow in expediting these cases without further delay, when he wrote, “Mr. Baldeo was the first Special Prosecutor appointed, in 1985. He was then a Senior State Counsel for the Director of Public Prosecutions. He spearheaded massive Government frauds in the then-constituted Special Fraud Court, which were prevalent during the 1980’s at various corporations, including the Guyana Gold Board, Guyana Police Force, Ministry of Finance, Guyana Defense Force, Guyana Co-op Bank, and other entities. Then head of the judiciary, Chancellor Massiah, convened this historic court for the first time in Guyana’s history, and the then DPP, Mr. Emmanuel Ramao, chose his star prosecutor, Albert Baldeo, to lead the prosecution.”
Like Judge Jagnandan, I was proud to discharge my public duty, and No, the heavens did not fall.
HON. ALBERT BALDEO, DISTRICT LEADER, LITTLE GUYANA, NY, USA (PRESS RELEASE)
Former Magistrate, Senior State Prosecutor and Police Legal Advisor in Guyana