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Customs guard’s son questions DPP’s explanation of discontinuation of charges against Venezuelans

Customs guard’s son questions DPP’s explanation of discontinuation of charges against Venezuelans


A relative of the customs guard who drowned in Union Island on June 3 is questioning the Director of Public Prosecutions’ (DPP) explanation of his decision to discontinue criminal charges against the four Venezuelans in connection with the incident.{{more}}

“It’s like everything that somebody says, he is looking for a flaw in it to justify what he did,” Abdon Whyte, son of Othneil Whyte, said on “Current Affairs” on NICE Radio last week Tuesday.

Othneil drowned while three Venezuelans were shot and killed and another injured during a reported shoot-out between a Vincentian cop and foreigners aboard the Venezuelans’ boat — “El Amigo Fay” — off Union Island.

DPP Colin Williams discontinued attempted kidnapping, attempted murder and Customs violation charges against the foreigners on September 19.

Williams said on Hot 97’s “A.M. Mayhem” on September 14 there were certain “deficiencies in the file” that could not be corrected and he had discontinued the cases, based on the law.

But Whyte said on Clemroy “Bert” Francois’ radio show that the DPP “looks like he is looking for a way out.”

He noted that the DPP said the man who reportedly opened fired on the Vincentian officials and was killed was not an “El Amigo Fay” crew member.

That man, and another who was paralysed because of his gunshot wound(s), was said to have boarded the vessel in Union Island.

“So, why was he not charged then?” Whyte said in reference to the paralysed man.

The DPP had also asked about the customs guard’s presence on the boat.

But Comptroller of Customs Grenville John told SEARCHLIGHT in September that his department had never cleared the vessel and the guard “had every right to board”.

Whyte further said the DPP had said the main reason for discontinuing the case was not the absence of a report from the Customs Department.

“So what is the main reason?” Whyte asked.

He further noted that the DPP had said there was no way to prove joint venture between the crew members and the two men who reportedly boarded in Union Island.

“A set of men who are charged with attempted murder and attempted kidnapping, those are the men had been gonna take the truth from?” Whyte said.

Whyte, who speaks Spanish, further noted a Venezuelan media report that the cases against the men had been discontinued because of an accord between Venezuela and St Vincent.

The DPP and Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves have said in separate statements that there was no such deal

Gonsalves further said that an opposition politician in Venezuela made the claim.

“I don’t know who is feeding the prime minister his information, but whosoever is doing it is doing a terrible job,” Whyte said.

“… to say that they are not members of [Venezuela president, Hugo] Chavez’s party, that is totally untrue,” he further said of the Venezuelan politician.

He said the prime minister saying the men are opposition politicians “raises more question as to what is really going on”. (