Seven senior lawyers issue statement …”APOLOGIZE, STUART”

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The statements by Stuart Young in Parliament last Friday that criminal lawyers were assisting gang members, have brought fire from the seven most senior attorneys at the criminal bar.

They have condemned the statement made by Young, who was acting as Attorney General, when he claimed some lawyers were assisting gang leaders to run their empires.

In a joint statement issued on Monday, the seven silk, Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, Osbourne Charles, Israel Khan, Pamela Elder, Gilbert Peterson, Ernest H. Koylass and Sophia Chote said they deprecate the statements made by Young saying if he was “indeed aware of such practices, he ought to have exercised restraint commensurate with his office and permitted law enforcement to perform their duties without hindrance.” They called on Young to apologize to the practitioners at the criminal bar.

The lawyers said they are now “gravely concerned that these disclosures have the potential of prejudicing such investigations and possible prosecutions.”

The seven silk noted that “many young criminal practitioners perform yeoman service in the criminal justice system. They attend police stations at all hours of the day and night. They work long, arduous hours to ensure that the wheels of justice continue to turn. They do the bulk of the Legal Aid work for nominal payment and it is grossly unjust for these young professionals to be the subject of such broad-brushed criticism.”

They contend that if the acting Attorney General was indeed aware of such practices, “he ought to have exercised restraint commensurate with his office and permitted law enforcement to perform their duties without hindrance.”

Last weekend, the Law Association said the claim by Young in Parliament of the existence of un-contradictable evidence that members of the legal profession are facilitating gang members or participating with them in illegal gang activities, is naturally of concern to Association.

It said there is no place in the legal profession for anyone engaged in criminal activity of any kind.

And urged the police to act immediately to bring charges against any lawyer in respect of whom they are in possession of credible evidence of the commission of a criminal offence.

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RAMESH LAWRENCE MAHARAJ
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PAMELA ELDER
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ISRAEL KHAN
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SOPHIA CHOTE
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GILBERT PETERSON

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