Attorney Odai Ramischand has apologised to Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh for cursing him.
However, he explained he used the expletive because the minister was interfering in the judicial process by conducting a trial in the public and convicting his daughter, Samantha Ramischand, in the court of public opinion.
“If Samantha is charged, the presiding magistrate can issue a summons for the honourable minister to appear in that court and called upon to show cause why he should not be committed to prison for contempt of court,” stated Ramischand.
In a six-page news release issued yesterday, Ramischand justified his Facebook posts, but made it clear he was never representing his daughter, as she has her own team of attorneys.
In Facebook posts on Tuesday night, Ramischand defended Samantha, who had posted a video at the weekend, boasting about being on a private beach on private land. The post caused outrage among citizens, as being on a beach is in breach of Covid-19 regulations.
Ramchand cursed Deyalsingh, who had delivered a tongue-lashing to Samantha, calling her reckless and irresponsible.
“F*** YOU AND YOUR FAMILY AND BEOREPARED (be prepared) FOR A FIGHT YOU HAVE NEVER EXPERIENCED BEFORE,” part of a post on Ramischand’s Facebook page stated.
In his release yesterday, Ramischand stated that it is for the courts of law to try Samantha and not Deyalsingh, who could find himself in contempt of court for the comments he made.
“If Samantha is to be charged, so be it. It is the police who has the power, authority and jurisdiction in the matter at this time and let the streams, courses of justice flow and the wheels of justice turn unhindered, unimpeded and without interference within and without our jurisdiction. Let the sanctity and purity and flawlessness of justice prevail and let no man think he/she is beyond and or above the law,” stated Ramischand.
Ramischand explained that as an attorney be felt duty-bound under the Legal Profession Act to ensure no one, including ministers of the Government, disparages, pollutes or contaminates the judicial process and bring the judiciary into disrepute.
“What the honourable minister was doing was violating and interfering in the judicial process by conducting a trial in the public and convicting my daughter in the court of public opinion and therefore prematurely and pre-emptively interfering with the judicial process by creating public prejudice and condemning my daughter to eternal damnation and depriving her of her constitutional right of a fair hearing by an impartial tribunal or court in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice and the right to be presumed innocent until otherwise found in accordance with the Judicial process,” he stated.
He said Deyalsingh’s action has serious consequences, as he was bordering on or may have committed contempt of court if Samantha is now charged. He listed some of the consequences, among them violation of Samantha’s rights to be presumed innocent until proven guilty at a trial before an independent and impartial tribunal or court.
Ramischand stated that Samantha or any other person or the police or the Director of Public Prosecutions can lay or cause to be laid charges against the minister on complaint for the following criminal offences:
a. Misconduct or misbehaviour in public office.
b. Interference in the fair and impartial dispensation of justice in accordance with the law.
c. Perverting the course of public justice.
“So in all the circumstances, it was not a frivolous or trivial or minor or of little consequential effect when I intervened,” he stated.
He disclosed that people have called on him to withdraw the profanity he used against Deyalsingh.
“To do so will be otiose. The consequences and effects and the purport and tenor of the comments of the Honourable Minister required, necessitated and precipitated my use of the obscenity,” he stated. However, Ramischand went on to apologise to Deyalsingh and his family members as well as Government ministers and Police Commissioner Gary Griffith. “I deeply regret and apologise to all of you for my conduct but which, in my view, was necessary, requisite, appropriate and proportionate and commensurate with the gravity of the then prevailing circumstances so as to bring closure to this matter,” he stated.
“And to our efficient and hard-working and respectful Honourable Minister of Health and his family, I am sorry for any hurt, pain, embarrassment and or anguish that may have been occasioned, precipitated or caused by the expletive I used and published. Once again I am sorry and I regret it. I shall personally attend upon you, Mr Minister, to humbly apologise and give you an elbow, rather than a handshake, which no doubt, will occasion a further warning or reprimand from you,” he stated, as he congratulated Deyalsingh on his service to country.