Express Editorial : Daily

YESTERDAY’S developments in the case of the kidnapping and murder of Andrea Bharatt were all distressing. The death of the prime suspect followed by the pathologist’s report of an inconclusive autopsy were tell-tale signs that notwithstanding the national uproar for justice, this case, like so many others, may well peter out in yet another dead-end. As it stands now, two of the eight persons detained in connection with the murder remain in custody, two having died and one released yesterday.

More than ever, the death of a second suspect while in police custody underscores the need for an independent inquiry into this entire investigation, beginning with the initial missing person’s report filed by Andrea Bharatt’s family on the evening of January 29, right through to yesterday’s autopsy.

The failure of the autopsy to yield a cause of death on the grounds of advanced decomposition of the victim’s body, which was found six days after she went missing, is wholly unacceptable and raises questions about the conduct of the autopsy. There are too many known inadequacies at the Forensic Science Centre for an “inconclusive” finding to be accepted at first attempt. We urge the authorities to persist in the effort to determine the cause of death and to secure any forensic evidence that could establish the details surrounding her kidnapping and murder. It will be the ultimate injustice if this case were to fizzle out in a cloud of doubt and be forever dogged by nagging questions and conspiracy theories. Not only will it deny her family the closure they should have, but it will realise the population’s worst fears that the entire criminal justice system is unequipped to deliver justice.

As this newspaper has repeatedly warned, the loss of public confidence in the justice system is a dangerous development in any society. As we already know, the many failures of the criminal justice system have resulted in people taking the law into their own hands which is a major source of endemic crime in this country. The entire system is being challenged by a public that has had enough and is demanding that the system justify its existence and prove its worth.

As protests continue to spread across the island Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley should recognise that the killing of Andrea Bharatt is no ordinary nine days’ wonder that will disappear with the next big thing but that, for many, it marks a point of no return. People are profoundly disturbed and are already taking matters into their own hands. As head of the National Security Council we urge Dr Rowley to convene the council and come up with effective, well-resourced strategy for solving this case which may indeed solve many others.

This is no time for the Government to adopt the kind of condescending insensitivity displayed by Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi in Parliament last Friday in dumbing down the public’s anger as a “reactionary” response of people coming out of their “traditional caves” to make a cry and plea for better society. It is so much more than that.


I’VE been repeatedly invoking my belief that the clues to adult behaviour lie along the childhood spectrum. When I recollect my past in these columns, the responses tell me that I am touching chords. Many have written and called to share how they too have been affected. I am always struck by two things: how common these experiences are; and how many people feel isolated, thinking that nobody would understand because nobody else has felt what they have.

IT is nothing less than shameful and shocking that, even when we are mindful of the straitened circumstances in which we find ourselves as a country, payments for performances at Carnival 2020 cannot yet be settled.

This is the case regarding prize-winners from the Port of Spain Corporation’s Downtown Carnival competitions.

A LITTLE over a year ago this column observed that the pandemic will pass, but noted that more telling will be the way in which the region responds to the impact of a virus-induced recession.

TEXAS, Michigan, Louisiana, and Mississippi in the United States might, arguably, be lifting their mask-wearing requirements prematurely, but their quest to allow businesses to reopen at full capacity is quite understandable.

I resisted the urge to put pen to paper when it was announced that the Soca Warriors had given up their home advantage for the opening game of their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in Qatar. This game has been shifted to the Dominican Republic and is carded for March 25. I waited to see if there was going to be a vociferous outcry from the football fraternity and, by extension, the country. But to my surprise, there was a deafening silence.

Recently, I had the great misfortune of reading an utterly disturbing text which spoke to the necessity of a Sunday Sabbath, or day of rest, as something positive to consider for our nation and by extension the world.