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

Part II

Summary of Incidents on 18th November, 1973

Paragraphs 32 thru 33. - Introductory

32. The six persons referred to are:-

Maurice Bishop - Barrister-at-law
Kenrick Radix - Barrister-at-law
Unison Whiteman - Schoolmaster
Hudson Austin - Engineer
Simon Daniel - Ex-Prison Officer
Selwyn Strachan - [blank]

These Six persons were represented by Mr. Lloyd Noel, of counsel, who informed the Commissioners that they were members of the New Jewel Movement (N.J.M.) and as there were criminal charges pending against them it was felt that if they gave evidence their position, as accused persons, would be prejudiced. The Six also intended to take their own proceedings in the courts of Grenada. It was submitted that the Commission would be usurping the powers of the Courts if it attempted to give any decisions in respect of the criminal charges. For these reasons, Mr. Noel stated, they did not intend to give any evidence while the charges were pending. This was how the matter stood on the 18th of December, 1973. The Commission's terms of reference were subsequently amended and the Commissioners took evidence from several witnesses and adjourned for Christmas.

33. On the resumption of sittings on the 3rd of January, 1974, Senator Knight read the text of a radio broadcast he had made the previous night, to the effect that all charges against the Six would be withdrawn, provided that the persons concerned appeared and testified at the public enquiry and that no further charges would be brought against the Six or any other person who testified. Mr. Noel informed the Commissioners that he did not regard Mr. Knight's statement as official information to himself or the members of the N.J.M. and he treated it as being 'immaterial and irrelevant.' Only one of the Six, Mr. Simon Daniel, gave evidence but a number of other persons testified and it was thus possible to obtain a fairly accurate account of the events on Sunday, the 18th of November, notwithstanding the absence of evidence from the other five persons.

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