Guilty: in HD

Posted: December 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

What happens when the short arm of TnT law reaches someone who is considered a local celebrity? That individual reaches just close enough for a Magistrate to deliver a device blow to the “I iz ‘so an so’, I could do what ah want!” mentality. What happens now when on top of this when the Guilty is the King of Soca, Government’s favorite entertainer, and Poster boy for large national companies? A clamor to this broken image by those in power knowing well what has been proven wrong in law, and ignoring the fact that the people of Trinidad and Tobago are thinking human beings rather than robots programmed by those in high positions.

Reigning Soca King Machel Montano was charged in 2007 with multiple assaults in public outside of the Zen Nightclub (PoS). The story in a nutshell was reported as the monarch getting into an altercation inside of the club over a spilled drink, the victim of the in club assault being kicked out (cuz the King is apparently never wrong). The royal posse decides that the vybz couldn’t have done there and followed him outside and assaulted him and others around. Fast forward to late 2012, Machel, despite hiring one of the most reputable attorney’s in TnT and having an air of arrogance in him getting off during the verdict hearing, was found Guilty of 5 Charges of Assault as well as using Obscene language in public. Roberts (another popular artist involved was found guilt as well) and 2 other Soca artists (who were found innocent) were also in the melee. Sentencing to be on January 17th.

Machel is best known to the Government as an official Cultural Ambassador the recipient of a $5 album which contained what they referred to as out 50th Independence Olympic Song but what the national community heard as a cat’s claw scraping against a sheet of rusted metal. So what happens as he is convinced? Former Extempo King, Current Minister Winston “Gypsy” Peters opens his mouth and shoves his foot in it faster than any soca or calypso beat could ever be. Not only does he say that the Magistrate should go easy on him, bu he attacks the media in saying that Machel is not a Criminal. Minister, the man was found GUILTY in a COURT OF LAW on 5 VIOLENT CRIMINAL CHARGES. What does that make him? And furthermore what do you have no respect for, the courts or our intelligence? Perhaps both…Gypsy, was a boss on the Extemo stage, Politics is similar but not the same.

Machel is know as the poster boy of sponsors Bmobile and Caribbean Airlines as well (under State Board control), both making their statements quickly that they “Stand by him.” Both of these companies in doing this have displayed that they are disgusting excuses for corporations. No much we can expect I guess from 4G service that fails constantly and an major Airline that cannot even cover their expenses let alone turn a profit. As harsh as that was, it is the truth, he is now guilty of 5 Criminal charges, what is there to stand by, Criminal Activity? When Tiger Woods was revealed to have been cheating, his sponsors dropped him faster than his wife. Why? Not only is it bad for the company’s product sales in terms of product association, but it is a matter of Business ethics. Whether or not there was Government interference as these companies are owned by the State is unknown, but it doesn’t look good on anyone either way.

A Rule of Law is that no penalty must be imposed for anything other than breech of law, so the Government could have gotten away with appointing him as an Ambassador even when he was on the charges (although it was in bad taste). Now that he has been proven Guilty, where do we go from here? The PM made a statement that he should face the law and the consequences. Madam PM, if you wanted to make a statement and do the right thing, remove him from his post as Cultural Ambassador. He is a convicted felon, undeserving of representing us in a diplomatic capacity, or in anyway as endorsed by the Government.

Dicey’s concept of the Rule of Law claims that Everyone is equal in the eyes of the law, and that extends to mean that the penalty must be just, which is up to the discretion of the Magistrate on January 17th. In this way the Magistrate will have to consider 3 basic options: A Fine, Community Service, or Jail time. A man that can hire an S.C. for the matter and receives $10s Millions in one season will not be at any disadvantage in being fined, so cross that. Community service (motivational appearances) , while it may seem good at first glace, how much can a man serve in this capacity when he is the spokesman for 3Zero Rum and on stage dry humping whatever is in front of him at night? This is less than a slap on the wrist, and if anything may lead him to gain more support, where is the penalty there? It is clear that he is not a regular person so the law should take these factors into consideration and the only equitable option would be to jail him. The jail time prescribed by law for his crimes are 2 years minimum- 5 years maximum. This is not only what is feasible but what is needed, not only to be fair in law, and to bring him back to reality about this behaviour, but to set the precedent that a local celebrity entertainer is not above the average man in rights and treatment.

“that the law was the golden met-wand and measure to try the causes of the subjects; and which protected His Majesty in safety and peace: with which the King was greatly offended, and said, that then he should be under the law, which was treason to affirm, as he said; to which I said, that Bracton saith, quod Rex non debed esse sub homine, sed sub Deo et lege (That the King ought not to be under any man but under God and the law.).”
– English Chief Justice Sir Edward Coke, Case of Proclamations 1611.

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