DPP right to drop rape charge against Gonsalves
KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, March 12, 2008 – Prime Minister, Dr Ralph Gonsalves has won another legal battle against accusations that he raped a police woman.
A judge in the High Court has upheld the decision of the country's Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to discontinue the charges of rape and indecent assault. But attorneys representing the 36-year-old have already indicated they will appeal the ruling.
Justice Gertel Thom handing down her ruling on Tuesday, said she found no arguable grounds for a review.
The judge heard arguments in the matter last month from attorneys for the officer, Emery Robertson and Kay Bacchus Browne; Barbadian jurist, Sir Richard Cheltenham who appeared on behalf of DPP, Colin Williams; and Dominican Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan, representing the Attorney General.
Attorneys representing the police officer had approached the court for leave to review the decision by Mr Williams that the allegations were not likely to stand up in a court of law. The office claimed Dr Gonsalves raped her at his official residence on January 3rd this year.
The Prime Minister has insisted his innocence and claimed the charges were politically motivated.