Report of the Duffus Commission of Inquiry into the Breakdown of Law & Order, and Police Brutality in Grenada

Part IV

Events Subsequent to November 18, 1973

Paragraphs 136 thru 140. - Setting-Up the Commission of Enquiry and the Attorney General's Committee

136. The Commission of Enquiry was set up by the Governor at once. On November 28 the Chairman arrived in Grenada and was sworn in by the Governor, so that the necessary preliminary steps could be taken to commence the Enquiry.

137. The Attorney General, who is also the Minister of Legal Affairs and a member of Cabinet formed a Committee consisting of himself, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the acting Commissioner of Police, Mr. Nugent David, to investigate the complaints against the police and the aides. This committee had three meetings.

The Attorney General, Mr. Herbert Squires, in his evidence stated that about six police detectives under acting Assistant Superintendent Adonis Francis, the head of the C.I.D. were assigned to investigate the complaints. This team operated for about one week and then on or about December 8, the Committee decided that certain arrests would be made and a public release to this effect given over Radio Grenada.

Unfortunately, the Attorney General became indisposed and no further meetings of the Committee were held, not that any were intended as the Committee had decided to discontinue its enquiries and in the words of the Attorney General "give way to the Commission of Enquiry." This was a strange decision for these three officials to have arrived at and in our view was a clear abdication of their duty to investigate specific incidents of alleged brutality by the police and the police aides and to see that the persons responsible for the criminal acts were arrested and charged so that the Courts could administer justice.

138. On December 7, Mr. Curtis Stuart wrote enquiring what progress had been made and on the 10th idem [sic] the Director of Public Prosecutions replied (Vide Exhibit 27 in Schedule B of the Second Appendix) [not available on this site]. Up to this point only three persons were to be arrested and charged. The Attorney General stated that some of the witnesses had refused to give statements to the police and in the case of some of the complaints about which affidavits had been submitted by or on behalf of the Organisation of 22, there was not sufficient information to justify police prosecutions.

139. On December 11, the Organisation of 22 met and reviewed the matter. It was decided that no serious steps had been taken to implement the four points set out in their resolution of November 27 (Vide Exhibit 36) [not available on this site]. A resolution was passed of no confidence in the Government and a recommendation made to the members of the organisations represented by the Organisation of 22 for their labour and services to be withdrawn on December 27 and to so continue unless and until the Premier and/or his Government resigned. A letter to this effect was sent to the Premier on December 12. (Vide Exhibit 42) [not available on this site].

140. Another meeting of the Organisation of 22 was held on December 22 when the whole matter was reconsidered and a decision taken to modify the resolution passed on December 11, to include the implementation of the 'four points' (vide Exhibit 36) [not available on this site]. A formal resolution was passed recommending to the members of the Organisation of 22 that their labour and services be withdrawn until the 'four points' set out in the earlier resolution of the November 27 were implemented in full to the satisfaction of the Organisation or the Premier and/or his Government resigned.

A letter to this effect under the hand of Mr. Curtis Stuart, chairman of the 'Organisation of 22.' was sent on the same day, December 22, to the Premier (vide Exhibit 41) [not available on this site]. Photocopies of the two letters to the Premier are attached in Schedule B of the Second Appendix [not available on this site]. It was decided to resume the general strike on January 1, 1974.

The Commissioners returned to Grenada on January 3 and resumed the public hearing of evidence on that day without any knowledge whatever of the serious turn of events which had taken place in the Island during their short absence for the Christmas holidays.

The first intimation we had that conditions in the Island were far from normal was the special sitting of he two Houses of Parliament on the day of our return, when legislation was passed to compel the proprietors of shops to remain open for business with very severe penalties for failure to do so. It was in this highly charged atmosphere that the sittings of the Commission were resumed.

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