…on justiceOne of the most sacred principles in the criminal justice system is the premise that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty. In other words, the prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, each essential element of the crime charged – and until then, the defendant is presumed to be INNOCENT. If this principle is not upheld with the strictness diligence, then what you have is a totalitarian state in which the ruling principle becomes, “Give a dog a bad name and hang him”.That is, simply have one of the minions of the State claim that the citizen has breached the law and immediately bring down the might of the State to exact penalty on the hapless citizen for ACTUALLY breaching the law. Your Eyewitness was reminded by this principle when he read that Irfaan Ali, the PPP Presidential Candidate for the upcoming elections, was advised not to travel to Canada by their Consulate in T&T because the Guyanese State, through SOCU, has slapped him with 19 “fraud charges” as the Minister of Housing responsible for selling the properties known as “Pradoville 2”. Conceding that Ali did not benefit in the least from the transactions, the gravamen of the SOCU charges is that Ali should have obtained a valuation for the lands before selling them!Your Eyewitness is flummoxed at this action since Canada has traditionally been a state that adheres to the rule of law. What makes their action even more anomalous is that the case in the Magistrate Court, such as it is, was halted by the High Court on Ali’s contention that the CHARGES ARE UNKNOWN AT LAW!! Because of the punitive sanctions that the criminal law imposed for its breaches, it’s a cardinal principle that the law must be clearly known to the citizenry.And here it is there isn’t even a law on the books for what Ali was hauled out of bed at 4am in the morning by SOCU and charges with – which demonstrated “malicious prosecution” – if not persecution by this organisation whose chief investigator had to resign because of faking her qualifications!! She has already had one of her other “fraud causes” thrown out!As one of Ali’s lawyers said, not only are “the charges unknown to law, but the particulars, even if they are able to prove them, do not constitute an offence known to the criminal law of this country. Selling property without a valuation has never been a criminal offence.” The High Court will make their ruling on whether there is even a law on which to charge Ali with and yet Canada is preventing him from travelling there??What gives?? Is Canada feeling its oats??…on agri helpToday’s Chronic’s article – “Ithaca farmers benefit from CDF project”, prompted a thought. In December 2016, when Wales was the first of four sugar estates to be closed, the PNC-led coalition Government announced a GY$3 billion (US$12.43 million) programme to help revive agriculture in Ithaca, Buxton, BV and Mocha. Very pointedly, all four villages are predominantly dominated by African Guyanese supporters of the PNC. Which can be confirmed by the public place-of-poll statistics!Now for sure, a case can be made that these villages have poor rural folks living in them and they need the help to live the “good life” promised by the PNC coalition. But what about the residents of those four closed sugar estates where some 7000 mostly Indian sugar workers – PPP supporters – were fired and they don’t have a chance in hell of getting alternative employment??To paraphrase Shylock on Jews: “Hath not an Indian hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means…?If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh?”…on Royston King’s justiceThe LGA accepted Kennard CoI’s recommendation and fired Royston King.But why hasn’t SOCU been sicced on his properties?