Log In

Reset Password

At best, Moniz actions smack of overreach. At worst ...

Reputation diminished: respect has been lost for former attorney-general Trevor Moniz (Photographs by Akil Simmons)

There are some political events that mark our calendars and will be topical enough to take a place in our history books. The recent dismissal of the Bermuda Government v Lahey Clinic case in the United States is one of them.

As a student of revealed words, the episode resonates heavily with a Quranic verse that says: “Don’t let the hatred of others cause you to swerve in justice.”

It was on that same premise last year when Ewart Brown’s office was raided that I wrote an opinion essentially talking about the practice of using and abusing government and public institutions against citizens.

Putting it in hard words, due process is the entitlement of even an animal, and without differentiating a human being to a sublime level, you would at least believe they deserve more. If someone is not on your favourite list, it doesn’t qualify them for ridicule or punishment.

This is not the first instance where you would see the overreach of a minister or government institution against a citizen. We don’t need to be selective, but when it is so blatant that Ray Charles can see it, an example has to be made to thwart the practice or at least show that it is morally unacceptable.

The Honourable Member of the House of Assembly and former attorney-general, Trevor Moniz used the cloak of having taken legal advice as a shield for why he pursued the matter. It appeared in his excuse as the equivalent to using a fish net for an umbrella.

Like the former minister Michael Fahy with the Hamilton waterfront development, he, too, seemed to be responding more to all the wolf calls and howls from the crowd to go after him.

The ultimate truth is even if one thought he was guilty, or they were guilty, the accused would and should be entitled to fair trial and due respect for their innocence unless proven guilty. Or there would have to be such indictable evidence as to warrant criminal prosecution.

To use the Government to illegally create or find evidence inappropriately is not one of those cases where the ends justify the means. Suspicion is not evidence, and the promulgation of it should be strenuously avoided by everyone, let alone elected public officials.

This seething hatred becomes so apparent in this matter, I just cannot fathom how the character and reputation of the former attorney-general can be repaired, particularly for a party hoping to win back the favour of the electorate.

In cricket terms, this is like stepping down the pitch, swinging at a bad ball and getting stumped.

This is an opportunity that elected officials need to avoid. It is pernicious and is an unfortunate characteristic of our politics that needs to be uprooted.

Leaders and other persons in leadership circles are too often complicit with this behaviour. They see it knowing the bias and tolerate it because it sweets the appetite of their carnivorous comrades.

We can only hope this matter becomes a lesson: not as one to lump solely on the back of the former attorney-general, but in principle for everyone to take a measure of their own accountability.