Report of the Duffus Commission of Inquiry into the Breakdown of Law & Order, and Police Brutality in Grenada

Part III

The Events of November 18, 1973

Paragraphs 90 thru 91. - An Examination in Detail [Part 3] - The Evidence of Simon Daniel [Part A]

90. Simon Daniel was one of the Six persons arrested and charged. On January 8, 1974, immediately after he was sworn to testify, Senator Derek Knight, who held the brief of the Attorney General throughout the enquiry, informed the Commission that he was authorised by the Director of Public Prosecutions to say that a nolle prosequi will be entered in favour of the witness insofar as "there are any charges pending against him in respect of the events of November 18, 1973.

The commendable position adopted by Senator Knight on behalf of the Government of Grenada was consistent with the view expressed by himself at the commencement of the hearings. He said, inter alia,

"It is our earnest hope that this exercise (the Commission) will be used to find the truth of what has taken pace in this country and what has given rise to your appointment. Whatever facilities the Government have, will be placed at your disposal without qualification in any form or fashion."

Simon Daniel had been first charged summarily and then indictably for the same offences. When first charged summarily on November 19, 1974 [most likely an error in the original; should be 1973], he was entitled as of right to bail; but a magistrate refused to grant bail and ordered that he and his five co-accused see a doctor on November 19. He remanded all of them in custody until November 27, 1973.

An application for bail was made successfully to Mr. Justice Bishop, a judge of the Supreme court. A magistrate attended at the prison to grant bail in compliance with the judge's order; but as soon as this was done, a police officer, who attended for the specific purpose, immediately arrested Daniel in the presence of the magistrate on warrants issued upon indictable informations pleading the same offences. An application for bail was immediately made to the magistrate Mr. L.G. St. Louis. He refused to grant bail. On November 22, 1973, bail in the sum of $800 with one surety was granted by the Acting Chief Justice of the Associated States, Mr. Justice P. Cecil Lewis. Simon Daniel, with Hudson Austin, Selwyn Strachan and Unison Whiteman, were jointly charged summarily on November 19, 1973 and indictably on November 20, 1973, for the following offences:

  1. on Sunday the 18th day of November, 1973, at Jubilee Street in the town of Grenville in the Parish of St. Andrew's, within the Eastern Magisterial District did unlawfully have in their possession ammunition to wit: five (5) rounds of .303 ammunition ordinarily used by the Police Force such ammunition being the property of the Government of Grenada.

  2. on Sunday the 18th day of November, 1973, at Jubilee Street in the Town of Grenville in the Parish of St. Andrew's within the Eastern Magisterial District did unlawfully have in their possession a Firearm to wit: a .303 rifle being a firearm ordinarily used by the Police Force, such firearm being the property of the Government of Grenada.

    Contrary to section 51 (11) of the Firearms Act, 1968 of the Laws of Grenada.

91. Simon Daniel was a Prison Officer at the Richmond Hill Prison. He joined the Prison Service in March, 1967 and served until November 22, 1973, when his employment terminated. He had been suspended from duty in March 1971 for alleged insubordination. He remained on half pay for two years. No departmental charges were ever made against him but in March, 1973, the Public Service Commission directed that he should resume public duty as a Customs Officer from March 15, 1973. He worked in the Customs until April 11, 1973 when he was reinstated by the Public Service Commission as a Prison Officer. The Superintendent of Prisons, Mr. Ben Roberts, refused to employ him and he remained suspended until the incidents of November 18 after which he voluntarily resigned.

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