Director of Public Prosecutions, Roger Gaspard,

Director of Public Prosecutions, Roger Gaspard

Director of Public Prosecutions, Roger Gaspard, has washed his hands of the matter involving the failure of coup leader Yasin Abu Bakr to give testimony before the Commission of Enquiry into the 1990 attempted coup.

Mr. Gaspard has taken the position that he will not lay charges against Bakr for failing to answer a summons of the commission to appear before it.

Instead, the DPP has thrown the ball back in the commission’s court.

He told the commission it has the legal power to direct the Commissioner of Police to “prosecute the proceedings” for breach of Section 16.

Gaspard in a letter to the commission’s secretary, Larraine Lutchmedial, said it would be “inadvisable, if not punitive” for him to lay charges against Bakr under Section 16 of the Commission of Enquiry Act.

That act empowers the DPP to take action against anyone refusing to obey a summons to attend the Commission.

In a letter dated September 12, the commission indicated to Gaspard it had agreed to formally refer the matter of Bakr’s non-attendance to him in order that he takes appropriate action in accordance with Section 16 of the Commission of Enquiry Act.

However, in a letter to Lutchmedial dated January 29, 2013, Gaspard said he was of the view that given the refusal of the witness to attend the hearing of the commission or to offer any ‘sufficient cause’ for doing so, despite being granted additional time to so do, is a matter that the commission should properly deal with in the maintenance of its own authority and protection of its proceedings…