High-level scrutiny

AG to get to the bottom of wiretapping and Mottley’s legal qualifications

Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite is being asked to clear the air on two thorny issues, which could prove to be a bugbear for the Mia Mottley-led Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) in the upcoming general election campaign.

With the ruling Democratic Labour Party now seemingly getting into full election mode the party has resurrected concerns dating back to 2010 about alleged wiretapping of the phones of top officials, including then Prime Minister David Thompson (now deceased), his predecessor in office Owen Arthur and a number of High Court judges.

A resolution to this effect was passed by the DLP at its 62nd annual conference last weekend.

The party has also mandated General Secretary George Pilgrim to draft correspondence to the attorney general asking for him to clear the air on Opposition Leader Mia Mottley’s legal qualification to practise law in Barbados, after Minister of the Environment Dr Denis Lowe had openly challenged Mottley back in June 2015 to “bring proof” that she was qualified to practise law here.  At the time, he had also warned Mottley that if she could not present the necessary proof of her legal certification, she could face either a $5,000 fine or 12 months in jail for practising law illegally.

However, during the recent Budget debate the Opposition Barbados Labour Party leader attempted to clear the air on the matter by holding aloft a set of personal documents, which she made a record of the House, to prove she was an attorney-at-law of good repute.

Mia Mottley and Dawin Dottin

In addition to her October 1983 application to study at the famous Middle Temple Inn in Britain, Mottley also shared a certificate of character endorsed by late Prime Minister, National Hero and Father of Independence, Errol Walton Barrow, as well as photocopies of her CXC and GCE certificates. Mottley also tabled in the House what appeared to be a cover note, dated April 27, 1984, and signed by a Kavita Daftary, which made reference to the photocopies of her academic certificates and the fact that she was a student of the “London School of Economics and Political Science, reading for the LLB”.

She also brought proof that her application to Middle Temple had been approved. However, there was no copy of a law degree among the documents presented in the Lower House.

Under the Legal Professions (Qualifications for Admission to Practice) Rules, 1972, “a person is qualified for admission to practise law who has pursued the course of study and professional training in law provided by the Council of Legal Education established by the Caribbean Legal Education Agreement and has obtained the certificate, diploma, licence, or other status or form of recognition awarded by the Council of Legal Education” – proof of which has not been presented by Mottley to date, even though she has been a practising attorney here for 30 years and is recognized as a Queen’s Counsel.

Against this backdrop, the ruling DLP, which is in the throes of preparations for what is expected to be the mother of all elections here, has called on the attorney general to clear the air on the legitimacy of the requirements for the Legal Education Certificate as a condition of practising law here.

As for the phone-tapping issue, it can be traced back seven years to when then suspended Police Inspector Anderson Bowen had filed an affidavit in the High Court, accusing then Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin of authorizing unlawful recordings of telephone conversations.

In the affidavit, Dottin was cited by Bowen for at least 12 instances of wiretapping. Bowen also alleged that the former police chief had played the taped recordings for him in the former commissioner’s office at Central Police Station and that the tapes were germane to an internal investigation.

In Dottin’s signed affidavit, he did not deny the charges but sought to link the alleged wiretapping to national security.

“With respect to the tape-recorded conversations referred to in paragraphs 22 to 32 of the applicant’s affidavit, I have formed the opinion that it is not in the public interest to disclose these as I believe that such disclosure would cause real damage in relation to the security of the island of Barbados,” the former top cop, who has since retired, said in his legal submission at the time. In its resolution, the DLP said “there have been several allegations about the subverting of citizens democratic rights by the last Government using state agencies to tap the phones of various citizens of Barbados” without a definitive declaration that this was not the case.

“Be it resolved that this conference calls on the Attorney General’s Office to clear the air on this matter and reassure citizens that such a practice is not used in Barbados without the consent of the court,” the resolution states.

Brathwaite could not be reached for comment on the matter this week as he was said to be abroad attending a family funeral, and when contacted Pilgrim said he was in the process of preparing the formal correspondence to the attorney general.

23 Responses to High-level scrutiny

  1. Michael Turton
    Michael Turton September 8, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    Wonder if he get back from shopping in Aventura Mall shopping.

  2. Coralita September 8, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    Awh haw, pampalam, Awh haw pampalam!!!!!

    I am waiting for the comments on this one.

  3. John Everatt September 8, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    It appears that the wire tapping allegations are true as Dottin admits that he can not release these tapes for national security reasons. Both of these issues need to be investigated by an independent judicial review board with power to require people to testify. That is if an honest impartial jurist can be found here in Barbados to run an investigation like this.

  4. Kevin September 9, 2017 at 1:07 am

    So wire tapping David Thompson, Owen Arthur and high court judges was for national security? Was any know drug lords or criminals wiretapped? Let me hear the excuses coming in 3, 2, 1……………..

    • Jennifer September 9, 2017 at 2:52 am

      @Kevin – Now why would someone want to wiretap drug lords and criminals???? Doing that in itself would unleash a boat load of surprises. Do you not understand that no economy can stand without these narco-traffikers. They are the last people you want to be wiretapped.

      • Kevin September 9, 2017 at 1:10 pm

        @ Jennifer, What a load of garbage. Chupse. Just as I said excuses, excuses, excuses

        • jennifer September 9, 2017 at 1:20 pm

          @Kevin – If they wanted to find or tap them they would have done so. Simple.

    • Roger Headley September 9, 2017 at 5:42 am

      Maybe they are the drug lords and criminals?

  5. Jennifer September 9, 2017 at 2:45 am

    Talk about accreditation. Oldest weapon on the books – ?????Credibility. Wow Stewy. Them old canons getting grease up boy.

  6. Saga Boy September 9, 2017 at 3:12 am

    Oh Lord did Mia tap Owen’s phone? If so was she trying to get some leadership tips?

    • hcalndre September 15, 2017 at 7:18 pm

      Saga Boy; there is something much, much, bigger floating around, haven’t seen it in any of the news as yet, saw it on ND.

  7. Tony Webster September 9, 2017 at 6:52 am

    Desperation…in spades. We will soon smell DEM sweat too. Good!!

  8. Lorenzo September 9, 2017 at 8:27 am

    My lord what desperation,the AG was to investigate Ms Mottley credentials as a lawyer years ago.To date has said nothing ,Why ?My conclusion there is nothing to declare so coralita ,Kevin andSaga Boy don,t get too excited for this is a red herring to detract from the serious issues of crime and the economy but it will not work.

  9. Milli Watt September 9, 2017 at 10:31 am

    BLP don’t have anything to worry about this AG ain’t do squat in 9 years and he ain’t going do squat now. As for Mottley she and the BAR got to come clean bout this loose end as for DOTS well he retired but I believe it is in the national interest to know what on the tapes…………..JUST SAYING

  10. Ann Thomas September 9, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Really DLP, really? We can see clearly what your election strategy is going to be. Discredit Ms. Mottley, prove her unfit for office and dig up or string together as much smut and dirt as you can, present it to the people of Barbados as though you are washed in the Blood of the Lamb.

    Well think carefully about this strategy. It clearly shows why you are unfit to be given a third term. You need to defend your performance over the last ten years, difficult as that may be. Be careful of the hornets nest that you may be opening, because in seeking to discredit Ms. Mottley, you might catch others in the net and the consequences might not be to your liking.

    Less you and others forget, we are still waiting for you, this current administration to present the 1994 IMF Letter that the late David Thompson was to produce in Queen’s Park as well as the St John Development Plan. If I am not mistaken these were also used against him by the current Prime Minister in his bid to retain the presidency of your Party.

    One is forced to ask the DLP and Barbados what has transpired since the assumption of office in 2013 to encourage you or us to want the Member for St Michael South to lead the DLP and this country at any future time?

    Barbadians do not be distracted by desperation tactics. Performance in government is what matters now and always.

  11. Carson C Cadogan September 10, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    Barbados is waiting for Mia to present her Legal credentials to the House and make them documents of the House as she was challenged to by the Hon. Dennis Lowe.

    All she has to do is to go to her office and take down her Law certificate and LLB from the wall and drive down to Parliament a Tuesday morning and present them.

    what could be easier.

    On the other hand if she does not have any, it will be cat piss and pepper. She being a Queens counsel and all. Her Majesty the Queen of the Commonwealth, of which Barbados is a part, would be keen to know how she could be a Queens counsel without the necessary qualifications.

    This has the potential to create a hurricane in Judicial circles through out Barbados and the Caribbean.

    Jurisprudence in Barbados will be turned on its head.

    But note that I said that if she cant produce any relevant and necessary qualifications.

    David Thompson had his Law certificate and his LLB.

  12. Lorenzo September 11, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    Carson Cadogan you Dem clown you really think that bringing back up thi subject of Ms Mottley, certificates is going to save the DLP?Bajans are interested in solutions to the Economy and Crime,does the Government have the solutions to these issues,tell us Carson.Bring your party,s record for nine years in terms of acheivements and defend because this explaining of Ms Mottley by the PM and Law Certificate talk ain,t going to cut it.

  13. Greengiant September 11, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    This is not about B L P or D L P, this is about being qualified or not and being granted the legal privilege for which one is not qualified. It’s called obtaining by deception or in some cases by favor. One of these will have to qualify if she does not have the certification required to practice.

    If it was any of us mere mortals, we would have been facing the full scrutiny of the public. @Lorenzo

  14. Lorenzo September 11, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    Greengiant are you serious?this issue was raised by Dr Lowe in the House some time ago.The AG was supposed to investigate and report back.What was his findings?his silence on this matter tells me nothing underhand has been found.So why is this an issue again,this along with the Pm tak of explaining Ms Mottley is a polictical strategy to try to discredit her but it will not work as Bajans are more interested in the Economy and crime wherethe Government,s record is poor.Therefore this is a red herring.

    • Carson C Cadogan September 11, 2017 at 8:17 pm

      As it should , this has you very worried.

      This has the potential to shake the foundations of the legal establishment here in Barbados.

      So Lorenzo/Lorenza/prodigal Son, just follow my advice, ask your buddy Mia to take her Legal credentials to Parliament when it meets again and lay them on the table, if she can. And matter fix.

      The Hon. Dennis Lowe took his qualifications to Parliament and made them documents of the House. Mia and her henchmen in Parliament ragged Dr. Lowe about his “false” credentials. He presented his true credentials and shut them up. Not another word about “false credentials” after that. Why wont Mia do the same? Is this the same woman who hopes to be PM some time in the distant future?

  15. sticks and stones September 11, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    so the question is Does she HAVE it or does she NOT
    now constantly i hear the name of the late EWB being drag into this story from what i hear EWB attested to her character which is not the same as saying she is qualified to practice law without being fully qualified
    How ever as one seeking high office to be PM Mia should be fully vetted and held accountable to all matters pertaining or concerning the legal framework if this country

  16. Lorenzo September 11, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    first of all I am not worried about anything because this is going nowhere.secondly Carson I am not Prodigal Son and I know you are confused in anticipation of a sound thrashing in the coming months and lastly have you paid that old lady bill in St Michael Central yet from the last election?

  17. Tonia Blackman September 13, 2017 at 10:21 am

    Ann Thomas says “Barbadians do not be distracted by desperation tactics”. But we know that as soon as dirt is dug up they give up and figure “we might as well keep what we have”. God be with us all, I pray. This country is in a nasty mess and requires a “bulldozer cleanup”, and not just a “nice nice” gentle cleaning. We need to stop voting for our favorite person, or friend, or party that we grew up hearing of in our homes. I always take a look at the representatives of each party and see what they are bringing. If the leaders don’t take the time to find good candidates, they will pick up garbage from alongside the by ways. Please consider all parties, take a good look at who is most capable of doing the task and vote them in.
    People don’t like to speak out for fear of losing a job, losing favor, business, opportunities. But we really need to speak out. NOW!


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