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 173 thru 174. - THE RIOT ON JANUARY 21, 1974 [PART 18] - The evidence Foster Gittens

173. It became necessary to require the attendance of Mr. Foster Gittens, a teacher in a Government School and a Justice of the Peace for over fifteen years in the parishes of St. Paul's and St. George's. A witness, David Isaac, gave evidence which was greatly divergent from an affidavit he had sworn before Mr. Gittens. The question arose whether David Isaac may not have been aware of the contents of the affidavit when he attested before the Justice of the Peace and Mr. Gittens' evidence on this issue was helpful to the Commission.

Mr. Gittens was shown the affidavit sworn before him by David Isaac on April 29, 1974. He recalled the circumstances. His evidence was as follows:

Q. I am going to ask you Mr. Gittens if you will help the Commission by telling us in your own words - take your time - the circumstances surrounding your taking of this affidavit. Who came to you, time of day and how you came to administer the oath to him, everything, every little detail, please, in your own language.
A. Around 7 p.m. Sir, on the afternoon of the date stated there - 29th of April, Sir, a young man by the name of David Isaac accompanied by Mr. Evelyn Bullen came to my home and the young man, David Isaac, said to me that he would like to - he came with a document, that document - and he said that that document must be given in evidence to the Commission and he would like me as a J.P. to read it and put my signature to it for him.
Q. I didn't hear the first part.
A. I said himself and Mr. Evelyn Bullen came to my home one afternoon 7 p.m. with this document, a document of this kind, and said to me that he would like me - this boy, David Isaac - to put my signature to it as a J.P. I sat down in a chair and Mr. Bullen sat next to him. I took the document and I read it very slowly to his hearing. I read it twice, and I asked him whether it's quite correct. He told me 'yes'. I signed it and Mr. Bullen who was sitting next to him witnessed me sign it, and I gave it to him and he went his way.
Q. Would it be correct to say that it was not read over to him and he didn't read it himself?
A. He did Sir, He did, Sir. I read it first.
Q. Aloud?
A. Yes, sir, quite loud.
Q. Could he hear it and understand?
A. He could have heard every word of it, sir.
Q. Did he say that any part of it was wrong?
A. No, sir, he never did.
Q. You say you read it over twice to him?
A. I read it twice to him.
Q. Why did you read it twice?
A. To get into his head what he had written here. I asked him first if he understood what he had here and he fumbled so much, so I said I'd read it again. So I read it very slowly, paragraph by paragraph, and he answered to me 'yes he understood what he had written here.' And when that was finished he signed his name to it, and he and Mr. Bullen went off.
Q. Did you have any such experience of him? Did he tell you . . .
A. No, sir. No, sir. Because I read it very slowly paragraph by paragraph. I said it that true? Yes. Sir. Then I went right through and I read it again.
Q. Now, was Mr. Bullen present when you were . . .
A. He was sitting near by.
Q. Who is Mr. Bullen?
A. One Mr. Evelyn Bullen.
Q. What does he do?
A. I think he is a Clerk - connected to some business in St. George's.
Q. Did you know him before?
A. Yes, sir. From a little boy.
Q. You knew Mr. Bullen before?
A. Yes, sir.

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