KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Tuesday July 26, 2016 – An overseas-based calypsonian is singing the blues after being charged with threatening to kill Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves and his entire family, and using seditious words.
But the attorney for Paul Scrubb is adamant it’s a witch hunt and an attempt to intimidate critics in the Diaspora.
Scrubb, whose stage name is I-Madd, was released on EC$25,000 (US$9,259) bail yesterday on charges that between December 9 and 31 last year, he maliciously sent or uttered the threat, ‘Ralph Gonsalves should be assassinated, also his whole damn family period; blessed love”; and that he uttered seditious words – the same words in the threat.
His court appearance came three days after his arrest at the E.T Joshua Airport last Friday, as he was leaving the island at the end of a five-week holiday in his homeland.
As a condition of his bail, Scrubb was required to surrender his travel documents. He will not be allowed to leave the country without the court’s permission, and will have to report to the police station twice a week. A preliminary inquiry has been set for October 31.
Defence attorney Israel Bruce says not only are the charges trumped up, but forcing Scrubb to remain in St Vincent and the Grenadines for at least the next three months puts his job in jeopardy.
“You’re asking him to stay here for three months while you investigate…In seven months, you couldn’t have enough evidence to bring the charge, but you want three more months and in three months you will be able to do it,” Bruce said skeptically.
“The ultimate objective is scaremongering; to scare people like Paul Scrubb and the others. But for those who intend to succeed on scaremongering, they must get the message: It will not work. People in the Diaspora will be resolved to speak about the issues in St. Vincent.”