Prosecution withdraws case against Paul Scrubb
Charged last July for uttering seditious words and prevented from leaving the country, Paul âImaddâ Scrubb said that he never made the statements that landed him in trouble with the law.
The charges against Scrubb were dismissed yesterday after senior prosecutor at the Serious Offences Court Adolphus Delpesche told Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias that the prosecution was withdrawing the case, because they could not sustain the charge.
Scrubb faced two charges that he, between December 9 and 31, 2015, uttered seditious words and that he maliciously sent or uttered threats to kill, to wit: âRalph Gonsalves should be assassinated, also his whole damn family period. Blessed Love.â
The statement was allegedly made on Facebook around the time of the December 2015 general elections.
Speaking on Hot 97.1 to radio host Colin âThe Hitmanâ Graham yesterday morning, just minutes after the case was dropped, Scrubb said that in his opinion the charges against him were politically motivated.
â…I never made those statementsâ¦I think they were trying to send a message; if you criticize us, we can penalize you, we can pressure you, we can make your life miserable,â the Barrouallie man who was born in Middle Street, Kingstown, said live on air.â
Scrubb explained that he was a member of a Facebook group called âThe Warroom,â which is highly critical of the Unity Labour Party (ULP) and the post came out of that group.
âI donât know how the post got there; I donât know who made those statements, but I never owned those statements because I donât really speak like that,â said Scrubb, who added that he is normally a thoughtful person who always tries to measure his comments.â
Scrubb said that someone else made the post using his name.
âI believed that my profile was hacked, compromised, and somebody did that. They after me a long time; they after me since 2007,â said Scrubb, who related that in 2007 he did a calypso called âSt Vincent mash upâ, and that calypso in his opinion, got the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), âback on trackâ.
âPeople were responding to it and it was playing on the radio a lot, so from that calypso, everything went downâ¦â, said Scrubb. He added that the case was dismissed, as no one could prove with 100 per cent certainty that someone wrote a Facebook post.
Scrubb recalled that after he was arrested last year, he was taken to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Kingstown, where he was shown a Facebook post. He said he told ASP Clauston Francis that that post was indeed his and although it was militant, nothing was wrong with it. Scrubb said that he was then shown another post, the one he was actually charged for, which he told ASP Francis he did not make. He is of the opinion that someone may have created a fake profile in his name and made the posts to set him up.
He said that persons must be responsible with their comments and posts, but one must not allow a government to infringe on freedom of speech.
âI have never been in trouble in all my life, I was a schoolteacher for five years before I moved to New York. I never been in trouble with the law and I have no intention to assassinate the Prime Minister. Even though I did, I wouldnât go on social media and say that,â commented Scrubb, who added that he thinks the Prime Minister should resign.
Scrubb said that he is ready to move on with his life, as the arrest had hindered him in some areas, as initially he was barred from leaving the country.
He was represented by lawyers Israel Bruce and Shirlan âZitaâ Barnwell.(LC)