A Heather Cole Column – Why Not Due Process? – Part 1

The Attorney General of Barbados continues to make some utterances that makes one raise their eyebrows. His statement that persons made confessions of having taken part in bribery during the tenure of the previous Democratic Labour Party Administration should make us all concerned.

Based on his own admission Mr. Dale Marshall, the person who serves as the Attorney General of Barbados listened to confessions of bribery which one may presumed occurred in his office. As far one is aware the Attorney General is not an ordained priest or a Catholic one at that and neither does his office hold a confessional. Placing the absurdity aside, the maker of the present Laws of Barbados should not have been entertaining any such matters in his office. Upon being informed of the purpose of the visit, he should have done either of 2 things. Picked up the phone and call the Commissioner of Police and await his arrival or advise the persons to visit the nearest police station and confess their crime. He has subsequently not informed the public what he did with the information except to gloat. It is unlikely that he has made a complaint to the police as no arrests have been made.

If persons unknown to the public ended up confessing in the Attorney General’s office, that is not mere speculation but admission to crimes of bribery. This means there are some guilty politicians out there as well, the other half of the coin.

This is now a precedent that has been set by the Attorney General; that the well to do and persons from the upper echelons of society and whoever else were bribers during the tenure of the last administration will not be faced with criminal charges. Just think about it, the persons who are partly responsible for the wastage of the funds of the taxpayers of Barbados, loss of jobs and the economic turmoil that the island currently faces will never even get a slap on the wrist.

We have a situation where crime is spiralling out of control on the island, the police are continuously asking persons to come forward with information on crimes that have been committed and yet the Attorney General has information and is not sharing it with the police. He has set a low standard to the youth by not leading by example. Due process was not followed, and the Attorney General’s lack of action has placed some persons above the confines of the Laws of Barbados and ultimately, is this not dereliction of duty?

However, in addition to the fore-mentioned, it has exposed that the Attorney General was making a political statement as a member of the Barbados Labour Party and was not speaking as an Attorney General of Barbados. He is somewhere in the grey area of the boundaries of proper conduct for an Attorney General. While we are all human and subject to error, this is becoming a pattern.

One may recall that the previous Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite of the Democratic Labour Party refused to admonish his party and his inaction while in office exacerbated social decay. Herein lies the reason why it may not be a good idea to have a member of the Cabinet or an elected person as the Attorney General but to retain an attorney who is without political allegiance to provide legal advice to government.

41 thoughts on “A Heather Cole Column – Why Not Due Process? – Part 1

  1. So if PM Mottley can have a Jesus Moment when addressing the problem of corruption
    Why cant the AG have his moment in his call for confessions
    It is apparent that this govt are a bunch of monkey robots

  2. The assumption here is that the Attorney General was only informed of bribes taken by one party. Perhaps he was told that bribe taking is in both camps.

    The Duopoly Rules

  3. There should be only 2 attorneys in parliament, the AG, not the current idiot…. and one other….these disgustingly CORRUPT LAWYERS ARE THE PROBLEM IN GOVERNMENT AND ON THE ISLAND…get them out of the parliament…


    they have destroyed the island with their GREEDY, UPPITYNESS, BACKWARDNESS and STUPIDITY…at taxpayers expense, since the vulnerable taxpayers had to educate their poor, raggedy asses.

    …..and the destruction of the country is their thanks for educating these shitehounds.

  4. Well, this is great news to have. I now know that I can have a confessional meeting with Father Marshall about the two murders I committed and the drug deals I made with members of both parties, but am unwilling to give evidence to the police, and I am safe in the knowledge that my confession will be safely held close to the bosom of the godly Father. Ain’t nothing like political religion.

  5. Dear Ms Heather Cole

    I very thought provoking put-forward piece of revelation writing. If I may indulge you, and If I can find the article that would help me indulge you, the honourable Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley basically hinted that there would be a need for evidence into any corrupt activity of the last 10 years.

    A regular cry in recollecting the events leading up to the Democratic Labour Party’s embarrassing defeat at the poles was the frequent indications by the Barbados Labour Party that corrupt activity was engaging some members of the Democratic Labour Party.

    You would think, then, that upon assuming office, this Barbados Labour Party would have been eager to launch investigation after investigation after pointing out several irregularities in the DLP’s handling of the island’s financial affairs. Up until now, this Barbados Labour Party appears to be contented or have found contentment in finger pointing and doing nothing, only.

    Listening to this Attorney General now makes you wonder if he really understands the significance of announcement he made. For starters, an announcement of this kind implicates both political parties as the main perpetrators at the receiving end of: ”Bribes Offered, Bribes taken,” since those confessing were doing to get political favours or government contracts.

    Secondly, he has brought his office into disrepute because it diminishes him as Attorney General, makes him look fool-hearty and unintelligent, and implicates his entire administration in a way that certainly is not positive.

    I have stated in another thread on another blog that Attorney General, Dale Marshall, does nothing for my confidence regarding him being the best person for this job. His press conference on this matter is leading me to think that a confession of bribe offerings and bribe takings basically does not constitute evidence enough for the word crime to be ascribed to it. Either bribing and taking bribes is a crime and a confession of doing either-or is grounds for arrest or not. Will the honourable Sir enlighten us by telling us if those confessing have committed a crime or not?

    One thing we must be happy for is that this administration is surely providing us with a bit of transparency, if it can deemed as that. Imagine, if this announcement was not made would we have known?

    Best Regards

    Lloyd P Gulston

  6. Bribery is only a crime if you get caught laundering the money in the USA.

    I am sure you all know that the AG has to make sure that the bribers and receivers of bribes are not BLP that family to DLP.

  7. Why do we pretend that corruption will only be proven by members of one party. This is pure hypocrisy. Any serious digging up of corruption will most certainly find both parties equal partners.
    Neither of these parties want to open a can of worms. Former Chief Justice David Simmons, said publicly on Brasstacks that corruption is rampant.
    It’s obvious that once the witch hunt starts both will be exposed.

    The Duopoly Rules

  8. ” Attorney General Dale Marshall also revealed that Government had engaged the services of attorneys to represent its interests as it related to several “acts of misfeasance”.

    “This administration has already engaged attorneys to represent the Government’s interest from the civil side in relation to some acts of misfeasance we have seen.

    “I’m not prepared to go beyond that, but actual work has already begun,” Marshall noted.”


  9. @ Heather Cole who wrote ” His statement that persons made confessions of having taken part in bribery during the tenure of the previous Democratic Labour Party Administration should make us all concerned.”

    When did he say that ?

    This is what I read.

    “A number of business people in Barbados have been confessing privately to having paid bribes amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars to public officials, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Dale Marshall has revealed.”


  10. @Hants I hope the AG reads this and clarifies by providing the names of those who he was referring to.

  11. @ Heather,

    The AG should NOT provide names until charges have been brought. If he can’t prosecute anybody for paying bribes he should stf (rance)u.

  12. @ Hants, this is unacceptable.
    He should have shown those shameless PERSONS the door. Surely this must have happened on more than one occasion. The first confessor was probably the tester who then went back and called his friends.
    Should we expect the drug traffickers to be next in line and then the gun traffickers.
    Upholders of the law do not engage in this activity far less talk about it.

  13. @ Mr Gulston (8.24)

    The prime minster was wrong saying that she needed evidence before action could be taken against those suspected of corruption. She is prime minister, not attorney general, DPP or chief of police. Her responsibility is that if there are allegations of corruption (ie confessions) to pass that information on to the relevant authorities ie the police.
    Further, as prime minister, she could launch a judicial review, with powers to subpoena witnesses, evidence and documents. In this way the confessors would be compelled to give evidence under caution, knowing that if they lie they will face criminal charges (obstruction, perverting the course of justice, conspiracy, etc).
    She has failed. Barbados is a failed state.

  14. Oh, by the way, when President Trump sad he would accept illegal information on a presidential candidate from a foreign nation, which is against US law, he would not report it to the FBI, the agency’s director, Christopher Wray, retorted that he would like to hear from anyone receiving any such offer.
    Is our commissioner of police gong to ask the attorney general for details of the confession of criminality by local business people?
    Are any of the companies these people are associated with beneficiaries of government contracts?

  15. Well if the AG aint saying anything do you expect the public to spill beans on the gunslingers?

  16. Repeating myself…

    Once I bought my son a toy train that had all the bell and whistles of a real train. In fact, there was a very small container that if you added in a little water you would get steam.

    If I took a video of the train going around the track and making noise. whistling and letting off steam and place it here, you would think it is a real ̶c̶o̶u̶n̶t̶r̶y̶ ̶w̶i̶t̶h̶ ̶A̶u̶d̶i̶t̶o̶r̶ ̶G̶e̶n̶e̶r̶a̶l̶,̶ ̶D̶P̶P̶,̶ ̶A̶t̶t̶o̶r̶n̶e̶y̶ ̶G̶e̶n̶e̶r̶a̶l̶,̶ ̶C̶O̶P̶ ̶-̶-̶o̶o̶p̶s̶ train. But I knew that this was just a toy in my basement,

  17. Hello Hal Austin

    If I may offer my opinion, there was not a problem for me when the Prime Minister ask for evidence. The problem I have is what definition those in power use to define evidence. For example, is there no evidence in the many reports the Auditor General’s provided over the years for this new administration to start investigating?

    If you have persons for the first time confessing to paying bribes and politicians are at receiving end of those bribes, I want to know if that does not constitutes evidence.

    If Donville Inniss case and his involvement with members of this particular insurance company paid him bribe money and the US announces that they were others besides him that took bribe money too, I want to know if that is not enough evidence to get the ball rolling. Will Donville Inniss, should he ever return to Barbados, be subjected to indictment and court proceedings here as well?

    The Prime MInister or Attorney General would have tell us if there is a different meaning to the word evidence that is far beyond our ability to comprehend.

    All I see is the enforcement of the protectionist net being used to its fullest extent to frustrate these new found revelations with a lot of political spin.

    At some stage, these protectionist measures and tactics will run its course, and as we are now getting the proof we need from these confessions, so will other willing whistle blowers come forth to expose the whole corrupt thing.

    Already we are at a level in the corruption talk where it is no longer speculation and hearsay as those in political life would have you to believe.

    Perhaps it is not evidence that the Prime Minister wants but proof that the evidence is really evidence since it is not so evident that the evidence provided so far is enough proof that there is evidence.


  18. @ LPG

    I was once under the impression that Barbadians wanted to do well, however that is interpreted. I still believe for the vast majority of people that is still the case. However, the nation has been captured by a lawyer/political mafia, as @William will say, a duopoly, who are more interested in feathering their own nests.
    Sadly, as a sovereign state, once they have captured the commanding heights of the state apparatus, including the courts, it will take a revolution to remove them – one violent, the other non-violent.
    The violent one is a military take over, the non-violent (which I prefer) electors removing ALL lawyers from parliament. An appeal to reason and democratic principles will continue to fail.
    Barbados is a failed state.

  19. What confessions and what proof are you people talking about?

    Do you believe that if I go to the AG and tell him I give X a $10 000 bribe for so and so that’s enough evidence to open an investigation against X?

    If the AG ever call my name in relation to said bribe (true or not), I will deny everything and place the AG in court to clear my name.

    First of all I am the briber and I am also going to protect myself from prison

    So show me what is the evidence the AG has from private confessions?

  20. The remarks by the AG re the numbers of business people confessing privately re bribes was said for no other reason than to generate a headline.

    We often get perturbed when US comparisons and references are made but the similarities of BS are comprehensive.

    In this case the US noise of draining the swamp is equivalent…. as in US it is merely a case of installing new and more brazen swamp creatures !

    Min Marshall’s remarks when placed alongside the US indictment of Inniss is truly incredible…what clearer evidence is needed there and yet NOT one single action has been initiated by any govt agency…

    …and we actually believe Marshall had some virtuous intent with his hot air remarks!

    Go back to the 70 and Duffus enquiry…within that report it was noted that the govt had underwritten losses for private operations when they did NOT have any obligation to do so… some commenter of the day called it political patronage.

    Same thing dressed differently and flipped 40 years later and we know this is a pappyshow and yet we pontificate as if there is any realism to these political posturings… shame on us.

  21. When thinking about this matter, consider that there are ongoing investigations being conducted by foreign authorities, who have a lot more clout with banks etc. on disclosures and evidence, which they already have said that they have.

    This matter will be resolved, I now have no doubt. But I fully get that many are frustrated and want swift justice.

    For this though, patience will prove a virtue. I suspect that we will be surprised over the next two years, when we finally see the results.

    Sort of surprised anyway. But I for one welcome the fact that the foreign authorities are involved and working on it.

  22. @pedantic ” yet we pontificate as if there is any realism to these political posturings…”

    Watch and you are going to see realism.

  23. Dear John 2

    A confession to allege wrong doing is to confess that you have done something wrong. That is if we see bribery as a crime. Therefore, if bribery is a criminal offense those confessing as Hal Austin rightfull puts it should be subjected to judicial review and subpoena to provide more details regarding what they confessed.

    If I told the Attorney General that I killed a man, what you think his response would be? Either the ones confessing are lying or the Attorney General has made up these stories to provide distraction or that their attempt to crack down on corruption with the introduction of their new bill is causing persons to come forward and spill their guts.

    I fail to believe in comparison to you that the Attorney General stated an untruth in order to produce a headline. If he did, he should be removed from office for providing false information since he cannot be trusted to carry the functions of Attorney General without compromise. However, I doubt that it so.

    We would have to wait to see what comes out of this.


  24. Conversation between AG and Briber;

    Briber: I gave So and So $$$$$$ and he allowed this and that to happen.
    AG: I see well I can’t do nothing about that ‘cause that is just I hear you say so evidence.
    Briber: Yeah you are right
    AG : So how is your business doing these days?
    Briber: With the tax breaks and still getting some bribes done, we doing okay.
    AG: That’s good we trying to get things moving in the right direction.
    So when yuh gone come over to we side?
    Briber: Man stop pulling muh legs yuh done know we is we. My partner is a B.
    AG: Dat is true. We gone catch up.
    Briber: No problem.

    The Duopoly Rules

  25. LPG

    Do you really think that these confessors confessed to a crime to the AG to get themselves into trouble?
    Why did you think the confessions were only in private conversations?

    If they are really and truly confessing then why not make the confession to the police?

    IMO I think you guys are reading too much into the word (confessed) and don’t seem to understand the fact that the conversations were in (private)

  26. LPG
    “I fail to believe in comparison to you that the Attorney General stated an untruth in order to produce a headline.”


    • @John2

      There is the other concern which is why would the AG disclose a private conversation which gives the impression there is futility to pursuing corruption. Does it help to move the matter forward?

  27. List of people paying bribes.

    List of former Government Ministers and other officials taking bribes.


    • @Hants

      The blogmaster views the revelation by the AG with a heavy dose of skepticism. With the dark web available these days information can be leaked to add meat to this and other matters.

  28. David

    Did AG actually disclosed a private conversation?
    IMO as long as he didn’t call names or give information to reveal anyone then the conversations are still private.

    What I think he did is made a political statement to his base.

    • @John 2

      We are saying the same thing.

      The BLP like elections past entered a verbal contract with the electorate that as a government it will be hunting down corruption, to have to listen to the AG express a comment as reported (to his base notwithstanding) is concerning for an expectant electorate.

  29. The BLP promised to hunt down corruption and that was to get votes.

    Now they have to appear to be ” hunting ” but first they would have to make sure that no person connected to the BLP was “contaminated “.

  30. The chairman has an obsession with nauseating party politics. He must learn to discuss ideas, principles, concepts, and move away from which party said what and when. It is this short-sightedness that is preventing the blog from moving on to another level of discussion.
    The issue is corruption in high office and how to remove it from our culture. It is learned behaviour and those in positions of influence, no matter which political party, must set the examples.
    By the way, as a young man when I first joined the UK civil service, I was sent to the civil service college in Sunningdale, where we were taught the values of the public sector. A CARICOM public sector college would set out the principles of public service and the damaging effects of corruption on national development. We need a cultural change.
    We also need a national debate ( and no, for those predators sniffing around, I do not want to start it).

  31. .”Now they have to appear to be ” hunting ” but first they would have to make sure that no person connected to the BLP was “contaminated “.

    An exercisee in futility since they are all known worldwide as CORRUPT.

  32. @ Hal

    I think that years ago , there was a public administration management diploma at the Mona campus. Many civil servants, on their way up, used to go there.
    There was also a College of Agriculture in Trinidad. Many civil servants from the Agriculture ministry went there.

  33. @ William
    In the 1960s the Master in Public Administration was more popular than the MBA. Now it is the reverse. That says something. In Barbados it says that good management is the preserve of the private sector. Oh how an intelligent people can fool themselves.

    @ Theo,

    Of the three north African Francophile countries (Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco) Morocco is by far the most conservative. But did you hear the President saying that Barbados must emphasise its Atlantic side? Has she given up on Caricom? Has she been quizzed on this?
    I have said before that the President is not a details person, she does not like thinking long and hard on new ideas, but behaves in politics like her legal training has conditioned her to be, get a quick briefing and then go in to court and talk with the confidence of an eye witness.
    Are we now going to open up Barbados to the Moroccans? Does she care?
    It is going to end in tears.

  34. https://barbadostoday.bb/2019/07/07/corruption-bill-to-bring-civil-penalties/

    I have moved from not trusting Dale Marshall to liking the guy
    Why? He is making the right noises as I think hefty fines is the way to go…..

    Mr AG, I want to tell you this… If a man has deal that benefits him $1M and you/your judge fine him $1K, I hope there is a next step where we can jail the man, the judge and you at the same time. The days of huffing and puffing and doing BS are over. Don’t come here talking big and then doing nothing.

    We had a couple of cases where magistrates were talking as if they would burn the house down and when it came to sentencing, they couldn’t find a match. We dun wid that.

    But, I like de man and gun gi he a chance.

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