NEWS

PM Gonsalves Rape Charges Rising From the Ashes Due to Wikileaks

"I categorically deny these allegations. They are false and malicious, I am wholly innocent of them," Gonsalves

11 Sep 2011, 01:24 PM

By: Jeff

SVG - The Prime Minister (PM) of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has had alleged rape charges rise up against him like the proverbial phoenix rising from the ashes in a renewed form as information has been brought to light in a Wikileaks cable released on August 30, 2011.

The cable which is stated to have been sent from the US Embassy in Bridgetown on February 06, 2008 rehashed memories of the PM being accused of rape by a 36-year-old woman police constable of the Special Service Unit (SSU) who was at the official residence of the PM.

According to the officer, the rape is alleged to have occurred on January 03, 2008, at the residence. (CMC)

Gonsalves, February 01, 2008, during a press conference, denied raping the officer saying it is an attempt by his political adversaries "to damage me politically and to discredit me in the eyes of the people". (CMC)

A Wikileaks cable released on August 30, 2011, has brought the matter recently to the fore again as has already been done in the press, with matters surrounding the alleged rape.

Following a week of media hype and public speculation, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Colin Williams (also an important Embassy contact), announced on February 4th (2008) that he had taken over the case and determined that it should be "discontinued". He cited the accuser's failure to provide a written statement to police, multiple inconsistencies in her oral statements and statements by witnesses, and the lack of forensic evidence, as leading to his decision. (Wikileaks)

Evidence Withheld

In the original telephone conversation with PolOff (Embassy's Political Office) on January 31st (reftel - Reference Telegram), Sylvester (Nicole Sylvester - police officer's lawyer) mentioned that the police had demanded her client turn in the uniform she was wearing at the time of the alleged incident, but that she had intentionally handed over the wrong uniform to police.

Sylvester told PolOff on February 5th that she still has the uniform in question, which presumably contains forensic evidence that would support her client's claim of rape. (Wikileaks)

Rape Case Twist

In a later cable dated September 25, 2008 it is reported that "Alleged rape victim and police constable Michelle Andrews, who filed rape charges against Prime Minister Gonsalves in January, replaced her lawyers and discontinued all legal proceedings against the Prime Minister in a snap decision that caught her previous legal counsel completely by surprise."

On September 12, without consulting her lawyers and while Nicole Sylvester was off island, Andrews retained a new lawyer, Judy Martin, from the law firm Marks, Martin and Associates. Ronald Marks of the same firm is an active member of the Gonsalves' ruling Unity Labor Party (ULP) and previously served as a senator in Gonsalves' ULP government. On behalf of the victim, Martin filed court documents on September 15 discontinuing all of the claims against the defendant.

Wikileaks

On 28 November 2010, WikiLeaks and five major newspapers from Spain (El País), France (Le Monde), Germany (Der Spiegel), the United Kingdom (The Guardian), and the United States (The New York Times) started to simultaneously publish the first 220 of 251,287 leaked confidential - but not top-secret - diplomatic cables from 274 US embassies around the world, dated from 28 December 1966 to 28 February 2010. WikiLeaks plans to release the entirety of the cables in phases over several months. (wikipedia)

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