Material Information

Place of Publication:
Tapia House Pub. Co.
Creation Date:
February 28, 1971
completely irregular
Physical Description:
no. : illus. ; 43 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Trinidad and Tobago ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )
periodical ( marcgt )


Dates or Sequential Designation:
no. 1- Sept. 28, 1969-
General Note:
Includes supplements.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright Tapia House Pub. Co.. Permission granted to University of Florida to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
000329131 ( ALEPH )
03123637 ( OCLC )
ABV8695 ( NOTIS )

Full Text

COURT MARTIAL SPECIAL: First Anniversary Of The February Revolution
- ...'.. i.rnu1



S1,068,500.00 ESTIMATE of which-:


COPE Q.C. ($60,000.00 PLUS $630 A DAY) $



COURTS ($100.00 A DAY) $





ETC. $

12,000.00 *



farceR C
...LY/ YCI





.$ 10,000.00

On February 1st:, the Court Martial adjourned to give the Judge
Advocate an opportunity to prepare his summing up. The sum-
ming up was to be delivered on Monday 8th February at 11 a.m.

According to the Defence Act
the Court must go into immediate
deliberation following the summing
up and ren.ain in deliberation until
they arrive at their verdict in the
same way that a jury in a regular
Criminal Court must remain
empanelled until it has arrive at a
This would have meant, even on
the most generous estimate of the
time taken for summing up and
deliberation, that a verdict would
have to have been given before
Either this or the Court would
have had to remain empanelled over
the Carnival celebrations in order to
avoid giving a decision which might
provoke adverse reactions from the
Neither alternative apparently
was acceptable to the Court. When
they convened on February 8th to
hear the Judge Advocate's summing
up, the President, to get out of his
dilemma, adjourned the summing
up until after Carnival. He based his
decision to do so on the utterly
spurious interpretation of the rules
of procedure discussed in another

article of this issue.

As the article also shows, the
Court Martial has from its very
inception been marred by a litter of
spurious decisions, the most glaring
of which can only have been
politically motivated. This last
flagrant abuse of the Court's
procedure permits the foreigners in
the Court to stay on for Carnival at
the taxpayers' expense; and it
avoids the necessity of announcing
an unpopular verdict at a time
when the nation will be in an
excited condition. As far as TAPIA
is concerned, this is the last straw.
The Court has now revealed
itself for the political bludgeon that
it is. We are now more satisfied
than ever that this circus has no
relation whatever to justice.
In the words of Fanon, "there
comes a time when silence becomes
dishonesty." TAPIA is not prepared
to be silent about this Court
Martial. At stake are the lives of our
soldiers and the nation's respect for
the judicial process. We cannot
afford to sacrifice all this on the
altar of Caesar's ambition.

N am e: ............................................. .
A address: . . . . . . . . . . . .

INTERESTS ( Please tick off )

Adult and Youth Education

Co-operative Business

* Steelband

* Yoga

* Drama Poetry Rea

Political Affairs

Metal Working

* Sou-Sou Investment

hiding Drumming

Art including Posters Writing (drawing) for TAPIA.

I hereby subscribe to the rules of the TAPIA HOUSE GROUP and
enclose $1.00 as my membership fee.
Rules on request from the Tapia House.

Signed: ......................... Date: ...............
III.__ mc--

.,ivY e.
2 S7

ZM, .

I I~IC ~s ,

i II I rl I II

Page 2 COURT MARTIAL SPECIAL: First Anniversary Of The February Revolution


Three Bells

It is interesting to compare the present
feelings of the people of Trinidad and
Tobago about the events of
April-September 1970 with the
atmosphere that prevailed in the course
of the events themselves. To make such a
comparison, and then to analyse the
causes of our impressions in each case, is
to write the history of the moral decline
and fall of the PNM Government and to
illuminate the condition of political
desperation in which it now finds itself.
In the early days of the State of
Emergency, the atmosphere was one of
fear, uncertainty, and impending
catastrophe. The major components of
the situation were: widespread public
dissatisfaction, as indicated by massive
demonstrations, recent and planned, and
the disorganized attempts to continue
them beyond the beginning of the
Emergency: the presence of armed police
everywhere; foreign ships on the horizon
and foreign troops poised to invade;
sudden and widespread arrests, followed
by treason and sedition charges or
political detention; manhunts followed
by further arrests; and, dominating the
whole situation, a breakdown of
authority in the armed forces, marked by
armed conflict, siege, and tense if
ludicrous negotiations.
The second phase lasted from the
imposition of "order" and the raising of
the siege of Chaguaramas to the end if the
State of Emergency. It was characterized
by the institution and operation of the
Detention Review Tribunal, the
preliminary examination of defendants
on civil charges of treason and sedition,
the drafting of the Public Order Bill, and

the mobilisation of public opinion that
this gave rise to. Politically, this period
was characterized by a series of hasty
manifestoes about public participation in
the economy, hasty steps in the partial
nationalisation of banking and sugar, and
a crash programme of public works.
The third phase dates from the
rejection of the Public Order Bill and is
marked by the laying of military charges
and the appointment and conduct of the
Court Martial. Parallel developments on
the political plane were the resignation of
Robinson, the marriage of several
opposition "parties" and the beginning of
unofficial election campaigning.
In summary, the country has moved
from a point where the government had
gained command of a very unclear
situation, to a point where the factual and
psychological components of the
situation are all crystal clear,.and in which
the government's authority'is completely
destroyed,and all its political options are
At the beginning of the second phase,
the task with which any moral
government would have seen itself
confronted (assuming that a moral
government would find itself in such a
situation) was to maintain the physical
control it had re-established but to alter
the quality of this control from one based
on force to one based on moral authority.
Whether it was not already too late for

academic. What in fact the government
attempted to do was to continue its
policy of governing by a combination of
force and bribery. Unable to exercise
moral authority to enlist the public in a
process of change, it merely intensified its
efforts to repress dissent by armed force
and to buy support with programmes of
poor relief.
But all dictatorships are inefficient,
because they lack the essential ingredients
of long-term efficiency balance and
flexibility; and because they cannot
motivate competent people to work for
them. The government of Trinidad and
Tobago displayed such incompetence and
lack of understanding even in its cynical
carrot-and-stick policies that it merely
hastened its decline into its present state
of political desperation.
For when we put morality aside that
is, the question of what the government
ought to have done to initiate a genuine
healing process in the society and
consider merely the question of how the
government might have gone about
securing its own position, we see that its
stupidity was equal to its immorality.
After the first few days of the
Emergency, the government found itself
in physical control of a pacified country,
a country whose population was by and
large in ignorance of the details of the
events of the crisis, especially those at
Teteron. It was in the interest of the
government to keep people in ignorance


this, after fourteen years of zig-zagging,
we shall not consider. But if the attempt
at reform was to be made by any means
short of resignation, those means would
have had to include tremendous
concessions in demonstration of good
faith amnesty for the army, early
release of political prisoners, open and
complete discussion of constitutional
reform, and the abandonment of many of
the totalitarian powers now enjoyed by
the PNM government. In short, an
attempt to enlist the public in a sincere
programme of change which openly
acknowledged as one of its consequences
the possibility of the rejection of the
present government by the public at the
first opportunity.
Whether or not this was possible is


of these details, and this in fact they did,
by news censorship, restrictions on
movement, and lies. But the other
obvious step, that of starting to repair,
under cover of public ignorance, the
defects in the Armed Forces that had
caused the crisis, was not taken. Instead,
they made use of public ignorance of the
nature of the military events to justify
their civil repressions, especially the
detentions (none of which were even
subsequently proved to have the remotest
connection with the Army affair.) As late
as September 1970 Williams was saying
that he could not release George Weekes
because a "large cache of ammunition
had been found."
If Williams and Three Bells had been
able to recover their wits, they had a
number of opportunities to make quick
reforms in the Army and cover up the
facts and causes of the rebellion. One
came when it was announced from
Teteron during the siege that the trouble
was "only an internal Army matter, and
now that the Colonel is back everything is
all right;" another occurred during the
negotiations at Chagacabana when the
government, through Serrette, might have
acceded to some or all of the other side's
demands, which were not profoundly
revolutionary. They might then have
announced that the problem was solved,
and later on Shah, Lasalle and Bazie,
instead of Johnson, might have found
themselves in military attache's posts
abroad,and without enough support to
enable them to do anything about it,
other than resign. The government could
then have allowed the public to invent its
own stories about the heroic events on
the northwestern peninsual.
But to do so would have destroyed the
main basis for spreading terror in the civil
population and keeping the
unquestioning support of the right wing
- the erroneous belief that a planned
political-military coup had been narrowly
averted. Besides, once Williams and
Hudson Phillips awoke to the fact that
they had cowed the population, and
began to feel their strength, their first
reaction was not reasoned but emotional
- an atavistic impulse toward punishment
and revenge, a determination to show
who was master by grinding the
population's face in the dust and treating
their erstwhile challengers with maximum

This impulse took the form of the
Public Order Bill and the arraignment of
soldiers and civilians on treason and
sedition charges: but ironically, it was
precisely these events which started the


final phase of the government's moral
The Public Order Bill evoked such
protest from so many groups in the
society that it awakened the public from
the post-crisis apathy which was
government's only possible cover for its
plans. What was particularly important
about this upsurge of public indignation
was that the legal profession was very
active in it.
It is no secret that Hudson Phillips, at
the beginning of the post-crisis, believed
that the legal profession, both bar and
bench, was unquestioningly on the side of
authority, and could be accounted on to
hand down the required punishments.
But the Public Order Bill evoked a protest
not only from a group of young members
of the Bar Association, but from older
jurists as well. In addition, the two most
recent splinters to fly off the
disintegrating PNM scaffolding were also
lawyers--Robinson and Wills.


The climax arrived when a magistrate's
court acquitted eighteen of the soldiers at
a preliminary hearing. At this point Three
Balls had no choice but to scratch up a
Court Martial, scouring the
Commonwealth to do it, in the hope that
it would be more immune than the civil
courts to the encroachments of justice.
The culminating irony is that by
subjecting the soldiers to a military trial,
which it could have avoided purely in the
interest of covering up its own


delinquencies, the government has in fact
given the accused soldiers a public forum
in which they have been able to make
clear the full extent of the corruption and
disorganisation in the Army, the qualities
of the Commanders-in-Chief (all three of
them), the integrity of Brigadier Serrette,
and the value of the Attorney General's
promises. By following the newspaper
reports of the trial the public have been
able to deduce quite easily the truth of
the events of April 1970, and have
therefore been able to judge the
government's reactions to them in the
proper light. They have been able to
make up their minds about who were the
most soldierly of the soldiers at Teteron.
The behaviour of Danjuma and the
fluctuating fortunes Obitre-Gama (now
you see me, now you don't) have been a
lesson in the relationships of law, politics
and power.


The purpose of a court martial is not
justice but punishment and there is every
evidence that the government intends this
one to be no exception. There is little
doubt that both verdict and sentence are
in the hands of the government, whose
behest the members of the court are here
to carry out. But having seen itself and its
representatives more and more
systematically discredited in the eyes of
the public as the court martial wears on,
the government is faced with an
unenviable choice. The initial decision to
lay treason charges was undeniable
evidence of Hudson-Phillips' confidence
in the verdict, since there is only one
penalty for treason, and he obviously
would not charge men with an offence in
order to have them acquitted.. In fact it is
known that he was confident of getting
death sentences which would later be
reduced in order to show 'clemency'.
This in itself was a stupid as well as an
inhuman idea; but now that the
government's credit is totally gone, severe
sentences will at best create martyrs and
at worst trigger off a spate of violence in
the country; while light sentences would
be an admission of the truth of the
defendants' accusations about the state
into which the government had allowed
the Army to fall, and would, to say the
least, be damaging to Williams in the
coming election.
The most recent indication of the
government's intentions, the lumping
together of summing-up and verdict and
the postponement of both until after
Carnival, suggests that they have opted
for severity. The people of Trinidad and
Tobago must not allow them to get away
with it.











'=-a~l -- I


I P --4 -oma




COURT MARTIAL SPECIAL: First Anniversary Of The February Revolution Page 3

.....keep them
DING DONG BELLS in the cells

Use of the bureaucratic machinery of teeth of such an acquittal to prosecute When protests were made to the a means of avoiding the presumption that
the courts is one of the most efficient the soldiers again for some other offence Court Martial about this flagrant this killing was felonious.
methods of perverting the Rule of Law based on the same incident. And time was abuse of the soldiers' civil rights,
without running the risk of being seen to of the essence. The soldiers had to be Danjuma could, correctly for once, There is a basic constitutional doctrine
do so in open Court. In our article kept in gaol at all costs. declare that it was none of his which is intended to protect and
'Mac-in-the-box' we show how business, reinforce the Rule of Law. It is called the
Arthur McShine has been able to use the So the indictments which should Separation of Powers. For our present
bureaucracy of the Courts to delay hearing normally follow the Preliminary STYMIED purposes this means simply that the
the application for a Writ of Prohibition Inquiry into Treason were simply Executive shall not perform the functions
until it will no longer be useful as a delayed, bureaucratically. They still And so it goes on. What about the of the Judiciary, nor interfere with these
legal weapon for the defence. have not been presented and now sedition charges pending against Geddes functions, and vice versa. If this rule is
The way in which Three Bells dealt probably never will be. Granger, Weekes, Darbeau and so many not strictly adhered to you will have a
with the Treason Trials is another good others since June last year? The Attorney situation in which tyranny will prosper.
example of this tactic: In the meantime Karl throws General does not proceed with their trials
together a a wholly immoral and because he fears either that juries will not DEATH PENALTY
Men are indicted for Treason, the fantastically badly drafted piece of convict or else, on conviction, the
most serious of all crimes either at legislation under which he purports population will not accept. So the Here is an example of the separation of
Statute or Common Law, to have legal cover for convening a Government is stymied and will not powers being infringed. It is also an
punishable only by death. Court Martial of total foreigners proceed. Yet it lacks the nobility to example of the insensitivity and
S As in all indictable offences, a over which he might have direct withdraw charges that it feels it is indifference of the Government to human
min all indictable coffees, a political control. By holding the politically inexpedient to press. So the rights. There are at present some 40
preliminary inquiry must first be treason trial in abeyance through accused citizens are kept in a constant persons under sentence of death awaiting
eld at the level of the Magistrates bureaucratic manipulations, he state ofjeopardy,having charges held over execution in the Royal Gaol. The death
Court, and only the Crown is gives himself time to manage the their heads which the Government by cells are cluttered, because no hangings
obliged to lead evidence at this Court Martial. further bureaucratic skulduggery have been carried out in Trinidad since
preliminary inquiry, continues to avoid bringing to trial Where April 1970.
0 If as is normally the case it resultsin CUSTODY is your Rule of Law? Your prompt and There is of course no official
the issue of an indictment, then the impartial justice? reason given for this bureaucratic
matter is tried fully at the Assizes Persons on trial for a military offence delay in the execution of "justice". The
before a Judge and Jury. should normally be held in the custody of generally accepted reason, however, is
Now Juries are something that Three the army. This again was a risky affair, for DING DONG BELLS that the Government at first considered it
Bells does not like because unlike Judges, Government. It could not fail to appreciate unwise to kill any of its condemned men
Courts Martial, Magistrates, etc., they are the degree of demoralization in the army Other examples of the improper while the prison was full of political
not appointed by the Government. They which, we are persuaded, provoked the manipulation of the bureaucracy of the detainees -- in short, in their presence;
are drawn by lot in open court from breakdown of discipline in the first place law to serve political ends? There are and now that the detainees are released it
among members of the public at large. and whichwould have made the soldiers many. One of the most glaring was the feels the same way about the soldiers.
Three Bells, in his position as Attorney most unreliable custodians of their handling of the inquest into the shooting They consider that to hang condemned
General, has already indicated his anxiety colleagues. of Basil Davis. After unconscionably long men in the present political circumstances
to abolish the Jury System and to remove delays the inquest was held. But before might be too provocative.
the only remaining area in which the So the device of a still-born treason even a veridct was arrived at the devilish So the due executions are simply
people have any real power to charge was used as a means of conspiracy between the judiciary and the delayed until the political circumstances
counterbalance judicial excesses and holding the soldiers in the Royal police had already permitted the are more propitious. But what about the
perversions. Gaol. Even if this were not an abuse policeman who shot Davis to be spirited poor wretches waiting to be killed? The
POITIAL of the rights of the soldiers, insult is to safety out of the country. Government has neither the humanity to
POLITICAL added to injury. Or consider again the shooting by the reprieve them (which it has the power to
Now the trial of the soldiers for Coast Guard of Pte. Bailey, the young do), nor the confidence to kill them
treason is a highly political matter and for The soldiers are not being held in soldier who died at Teteron when, we are (which it also has the power to do), so it
the Court it would be a very risky the Remand Section of the Gaol as told, the soldiers were attempting to leave simply lets them linger (which it does not
business indeed to permit the issues to be should be the position of people the base. This is even more scandalous, have the power to do but which is
decided upon by a jury of the people. awaiting trial, but in the Section for as yet there has been neither an politically expedient). So now even
In addition, if a jury, as now seems reserved for convicted criminals. enquiry into Bailey's death by shooting, condemned men are denied their only
most likely from the evidence which has nor even the slightest indication that one remaining civil right the right to a
been brought out in the Court Martial, And some of them, notably Shah is likely to be held. And one thing would prompt quietus. TAPIA demands that
were to acquit the soldiers, it would be and Lasalle, are kept in solitary seem to be clear, In this case there can be those men be reprieved. And moreover,
very difficult indeed to proceed in the confinement, no question of self defence being urged as that the Death Penalty be abolished.


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Cross Crossing, San Fernando Tel. 65-78122


Page 4 COURT MARTIAL SPECIAL: First Anniversary Of The February Revolution
i i i iii I I II a L.- I


French Folk Song

"Justice delayed is justice denied". So
sang the learned Judge Advocate Mr.
Justice Commey Mills-Odoi in October
1970. Time ? the beginning of the
Court Martial enquiry into charges of
mutiny and other offences against three
officers and ten other ranks of the
Trinidad and Tobago Regiment. Mr.
Mills-Odoi was seeking to impress us with
his familiarity with legal maxims and his
deep concern for justice. Never have
words proved more prophetic, for it is
now palpably clear that the latest
adjournment of the Court Martial will
result in the denial of justice to those on
trial for their lives.
This latest perversion is by far the
clearest indication that the Court is
allowing itself to be directed by political
The reason given by the President for
the adjournment is either totally untrue
or else a confession that the Court is
unable to perform judicially the task
which has been assigned to it. The
President gave as his reason the necessity
of the Court to deliver a verdict on the
same day on which the Judge Advocate
concludes his summing up, and the
inability of the Court to study the
voluminous evidence presented in the
case in under one month.


In effect the President is saying that
the members of the Court will have to
study the evidence in advance of the
summing up.
Now the members of the Court are like
a jury in any case in the High Court. Have
you ever heard of any case which has
been adjourned for a month for the jury
to study the evidence and then for the
judge to sum at the end of that month?
This will mean that the evidence will be
studied and verdicts arrived at long before
the Judge sums up.
Who is Danjuma trying to fool? Why
couldn't the Court give its verdict before
All this means is that the farce will
continue after Ash Wednesday and that
Trinidad will have had its longest
Masquerade season this one began with
the arrival of Danjuma and his entourage
in early October 1970.
The latest perversion of justice has
been perhaps the most glaring but there
have been others of equal significance
during the course of the trial.
The first was the President's ruling that

the defence lawyers would only be
allowed one hour to present their
arguments on the constitutional points
while the Prosecutor had unlimited time
to reply. Such a ruling is unprecedented
in legal history in Trinidad and obago.
The President at that stage was anxious to
get on with the "real work" and a delay
to allow the defence arguments to be
fully developed would have meant a
denial of justice. Justice to whom?


The next important event in the trial,
after the constitutional arguments had
been rejected by the President, on the
Judge Advocate's advice, as being
"frivolous and vexatious", was during the
condonation pleas.

The Judge intervened when Joffre
Eli Serrette was reeling under
cross-examination as to his credit,
motives and the amount of money
he received for betraying his
soldiers, and Shah's lawyer was
prevented from pursuing this line
>of cross-examination as it was
embarrassing the Brigadier. Better
that men should hang than that
Serrette should be embarrassed.
It was also during Lt. Shah's
"condonation" plea that the Judge
Advocate refused to allow Shah's
counsel to re-open his case to call
Miss Flora Henry as a witness.

You will recall that Miss Henry was a
witness who though called by the
Prosecution during the enquiry into the
treason charges some months before had
given evidence favourable to Shah. By the
time the Court came to hear her evidence,
in the course of Lt. Lasalle's
"condonation" plea, it had already
prejudiced itself by finding that Serrette
was a witness of truth. Why didn't the
Court hear all the evidence before making
such a finding?

The true nature of the Court was
.revealed in one stark moment
during the hearing of Pte. Noray's
condonation plea, when the
President shouted "Noray, you are
lying again!" And this was long
before the Court deliberated to
consider Noray's case.

Any Court that had a proper respect
for fundamental judicial principles would

at that moment have dissolved itself. But
could we really expect that from Three
Bells' hand-picked team?'
More important than all that happened
during the actual hearing of the
condonation pleas was the failure of the
Judge Advocate to sum up in open Court.
Remember that the members of the
Court are like a jury and the Judge
Advocate is like the Judge in any High
Court case. Have you ever heard of any
case in which the Judge summed up to
the jury in the absence of the accused and
his counsel? Well this is what was done in
this case.
The Judge Advocate is supposed to
direct the members of the court on the
law. How can anyone know if he
misdirected them?
Further, there was a difference of view
between Shah's lawyer and the

Prosecutor on the "burden of proof."
What did the Judge Advocate tell the
Court in closed session on this vital
point? We shall never know.
But as if this were not enough the
Judge Advocate also retired with the
Court when they deliberated o n their
findings on Shah's condonation plea. If
he did not retire with them why was the
President unable to answer this question
when it was put directly to him? After an
embarrassing delay on his part for over
ten minutes the Judge Advocate
intervened to tell him that he was not
bound to answer. Have you ever heard of
a High Court case in which the Judge
retired with the jury when it came to
consider its verdict?
During the substantive trial itself there
have been further perversions, for

After Emancipation, the ordinary people We have now established a Grand are not varied enough. So we have one
had to make a super-human effort to Sou-Sou to service associates throughout popular and one elite banking system,
establish their economic independence, the country. One dollar a month or 25 neither adequate.
Starting with virtually nothing, they had cents a week. Throw as many hands as
to scrimp and save and slave. Capital you want. We propose that you delay TAPIA'S PLAN
was short, credit was dear. But no- your draw to an agreed date after six
where in the Caribbean did the metro- months; that you do not draw more than
politan power assist local banking to 75%; and that the rest go into a Fund The Tapia plan is to integrate them.
consolidate its position. Throughout from which you can borrow after one Mere nationalisaton f te b s woul
the W. Indies, charters were at first year at an agreed rate of interest. not do. It would be too costy forthe
given to what is now Barclays, and later, commercial banks to accommodate small
to Canadian companies. Groups who wish to start business savers. Genuine localisation of banking
or Caadiraaves co aaes start inu a n a w- it _hii h


The local financiers went underground.
The sou-sou became the banking system
of the people. "Sam" in Puerto Rico
and San Domingo; "box" in Guyana;
"pardner" in Jamaica; and in Barbados,
"meeting-turn." Same problem, same
response. One people.

Neither Williams nor Robinson could
havq gone to Oxbridge were it not for this
kind of neighbourhood co-operation in the
100 years up to 1940. Yet our banking
policy since 1956 has -n limited by
a most reactionary dependence on im-
ported banks.
The New World Group has done the
academic work to discredit this Afro-
Saxon incompetence. Tapia is therefore
in a position to start a new programme.

or co-operatves can start Community
Sous-sous which may join the Grand
Sou-Sou. Each Community Sou-sou has
the right to borrow from the Fund to
finance the community project. We are
already involved with one small business
and one co-operative.


The Grand Sou-Sou would serve as
a liaison to-the commercialbanking system
particularly through the National Com-
mercial Bank and the proposed Workers'
A bank lives on the confidence of
savers and the trustworthiness of bor-
rowers. In the West Indies the people trust
the banks but the banks do not trust
the people as borrowers. Sou-sous ensure
two-way trust but they are not big
enough; and their savings and investments

demands that we recogmtse e pl ar wnic
the sou-sou has been playing. We must
give this small man's agency a chance
to develop with and for the nation. The
sou-sou is viable because it can hold
the people's confidence and because it
allows the communities to reduce finan-
cial costs through self-service.



Every Thursday 8 p.m.
o Tunapuna
o San Fernando
o Sangre Grande
o Arima


To be announced by
Union of Revolutionary Organ.

St. Augustine


E e




COURT MARTIAL SPECIAL: First Anniversary Of The February Revolution Page 5

I4 yo/Nigerian Folk So
SI I II II I I II_ Nigerian Folk Song

a The refusal of the Judge
Advocate to order Col. Christopher
to produce the records to show that
reports had been made about the
night dub that was being operated
at Teteron and to show the large
quantities of US. equipment that
had been stolen by senior officers
at Teteron.
These, in brief, are the questions we
are asking and inviting the public to ask:
WHY the lack of opportunity given
to the accused's lawyers to prepare
their clients' cases, involving the
study of the evidence of a large
number of witnesses, and the
inordinately long time taken by the
Court to do the same thing in
respect of half the number of

* WHY the limitation of one hour
placed on defence lawyers to argue
that the Court Martial had no
jurisdiction while no limitation
whatever was placed on the'
* WHY in tie course of the
condonation pleas were defence
lawyers prevented from
cross-examining Serrette on his
credit and his motives and the
amount of money he received since
his return to Teteron?
* WHY in the course of these pleas
did the Court prejudice itself by
ruling that they believed Serrette
and disbelieved Shah before hearing
all the evidence in respect of each

* WHY the refusal of the Court to
allow Shah's lawyer to re-open his
case and call Flora Henry, who had
given evidence in support of Shah
when she was a witness for the
prosecution at the treason hearings?

9 WHY the refusal of the President of
the Court to state whether the
Judge Advocate sat with the Court
while it was considering the

* WHY did the Judge Advocate not
sum up in open court in the
condonation pleas?
a WHY did the President in open
Court say to Private Noray:
"Noray, you are lying again" before
his case had even been considered?
* WHY has the Court prevented the
production of documents in the
custody of the Commanding
Officer of the Regiment which
showed that a nightclub was bein g
run at Teteron by Senior Officers
of the Regiment?
WHY did the Court prevent the
production of reports showing that
U.S. equipment was being
unlawfully removed from
Chaguaramas by Senior Officers of
the Regiment?
WHY has the prosecution not been
prevented even once from
producing anything they wished?
WHY has the Court been adopting
all the arguments of the
Prosecution and denying all the
submissions of the Defence?
* How dared the Court on the advice
of the Judge Advocate to rule that
an application to have the
constitutional rights of a citizen of
Trinidad and Tobago decided by
the High Court of Trinidad and
Tobago is not only frivolous but

WHY the hurry by the Court to
proceed with full speed in October
1970 and its hesitance to come to a
conclusion in February 1971, after
the public had heard of the mess in
the regiment?

DOES delay which defeated justice
in October 1970 now further
justice in February 1971?

OR has the "justice" referred to by
the Judge Advocate changed its


Since justice is immutable, we think
not. We think it is the same justice which
the Judge Advocate and the five military
personnel in the Court Martial left their
countries to serve. We think that it is not
the justice which we know of, which we
are taught to believe in, and in which the
interest of every accused person is
paramount. We think that it is justice to
the persons who brought the foreigners
here among us. It is justice to the party in
power. It is justice based on political
If it were not so then the speed
imposed on the defence lawyers by the
court would have been adopted by the
court itself. Serrette's deals would not
have been purposely hidden. The lights of
the night club at Teteron would have
been seen by the public. This country
would have collected revenue from the
sale of U.S. equipment. The Court would
have heard Flora Henry, Desmond
Whiskey, Lt. Bernard and others before
deciding whether to believe Serrette.
Noray would not have been deemed a liar
before his case was heard. Due weight
would have been given to arguments
adduced by both the prosecution and the
defence. Defence counsel would not have
been frustrated and limited. Everyone
would have known what advice the Judge
Advocate gave the court in the
condonation pleas. Then it would have
been Justice as we know it.


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8 p.m.
Tapia House
91 Tunapuna Rd.


Every afternoon on the blocks
Every weekend in the community.

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Page 6 COURT MARTIAL SPECIAL: First Anniversary Of The February Revolution

In Trinidad judicial impartiality is a fiction. Those who did not realize this before
are certainly beginning to realize it now, as a result of the infamous Court Martial at
present in progress.
The reasons are to be found both in the Constitution and in the character of the

society itself.
The Chief Justice is appointed by the
Prime Minister (the Governor General is
merely the Prime Minister's instrument)
and no organ of popular representation has
any constitutional power of confirmation
or veto of this appointment.
The other Judges of the High Court are
appointed by the Judicial and Legal
Services Commission, the majority of
whose members are appointed by the
Prime Minister.


The Prime Minister, as we have pointed
out in detail in TAPIA Nos. 3 and 13, has
personal powers on a totalitarian scale
over the rest of the rest of the Cabinet
and even over Parliament. The
Constitution gives him control over the
composition of the Senate and of the
Boundaries Commission. His control of
the Boundaries Commission, and the

racial preoccupations of the country, give
him a large measure of control over the
House of Representatives. Therefore
Parliament is incapable of offering
political resistance to the appointment of
puppets to judicial office.
But the Judges are appointed for life.
Why then do they remain puppets once
they are appointed? Because by virtue of
our history they belong to the same
authoritarian Afro-Saxon middle class
which is responsible for the totalitarian
shape of our Constitution. By social and
ethnic origin the judge is typically a black
urban Christian from the clerical or
professional middle class.
Professionally, he is typically a product
of the magistracy the dull, secure
branch of the judiciary paid by public
funds and functioning as an instrument of
public order rather than the Bar the
adventurous and more independent

branch of the profession whose
orientation is toward the defence of the
individual against the instruments of the
state. The exceptions to this are those
Afro-Saxons who become directors of so
many Statutory Boards and private
corporations that their interest in the
status quo is greater than that of any
public employee which does not stop
them from being paid huge fees out of
public funds to defend it.


Let us

consider how this system

* The Prime Minister has made one
Arthur McShine to be the Chief
Justice of Trinidad and Tobago and
Justice of Appeal.

At the time of the alleged mutiny
in the Trinidad and Tobago
Regiment at Teteron this same
Arthur McShine Chief Justice, was
appointed by Williams to act as
Governor General during the
convenient absence of Sir Solomon

* By becoming Governor General,
Arthur McShine assumed a third
hat: Commander-in-Chief of the
Trinidad and Tobago Defence
Force, the very Defence Force in
which it is alleged that the mutiny
took place.

* So as Governor General he made a
solemn evaluation of the state of
the nation at the time and
proclaimed a State of Emergency
under which all our basic Civil
Rights were suspended.

* One of the factors which he could
not have avoided taking into
account in this solemn evaluation
(it was of course all done by
Williams himself and Three Bells)
was that the army, of which he
Arthur McShine, was
Commander-in-Chief, was in a state
of unrest, so that he as
Commander-in-Chief was formally
the principal aggrieved party of any
ensuing mutiny.

* Sir Solomon Hochoy returns and
McShine then reverts to his role of
Chief Justice and Justice of Appeal.

* A Court Martial of foreigners
is then contrived to try the soldiers
for the alleged mutiny.

* As must have been anticipated, all
the Defence lawyers argue that the
Court Martial is unconstitutional,
and a petition is made to the High
Court for a writ of Prohibition to
stop the Court Martial.

* The matter gets to the Court of
Appeal, and who do we find there?
One Arthur McShine, ex-proclaimer
of the State of Emergency,
ex-Commander-in-Chief of the
Trinidad and Tobago Defence
Force, ex-Governor General.


COURT MARTIAL SPECIAL: First Anniversary Of The February Revolution Page 7

"Whereas the People of Trinidad and Tobago recognize that men
and in-litutions remain free onl1 %hen freedom is founded upon
respect for ...tlhe rule of la% .... Constiturion of Frinidad & Tobago.

On the occasion of the ceremonial
opening of the Supreme Court term on
Monday 5th October 1970, the Chief
Justice in his public address permitted us
some rare insights into the type of
thinking that instructs his behaviour.
Consider for example his opinion as
to the type of Law Reform which the
country most urgently needs. The
provision for compensation for criminal
injury was to his mind more worthy of
attention than the abolition of the Death
Penalty; the revision of conditions for
jury qualifications and service was more
urgent than dress reform; and he felt that
we should clamour for legislation to
protect the safety of the official court


These preferences demonstrate not
only the profundity of the man's
conservatism, which is aggressively
mediaeval, but also the shallowness of his
own perceptions about the needs of our
It is sufficient to observe here that
these perceptions reflect the
characteristic complacency of the ruling
oligarchy, which is convinced that society
is divided into two irreconcilably warring
classes; the threatened members of its





own class, and the unshod and
untouchable criminal classes which it is
McShine's duty as chief Justice to keep in
their place, terrorizing them with the
spurious costumery of ceremonial court
dress, eliminating them with the death
penalty, reducing their say in the
administration of his courts by further
curtailing their eligibility to sit as jurors,
ensuring the execution of his will by
providing extraordinary security for his
Bailiffs, and so on.


It is in this context that we must
understand his repeated references to the
idea of "loyalty", which he introduces
every so often, gratefully, in praise of his
magistrates, the police services and the
(law's) "loyal servants". He, perhaps in
the belief that he is being prudent, never
tells us to whom these functionaries are
to be loyal. He means loyal to his type of
person, to his type of thinking, to his
embattled social class.
And, aristocrat that he is, his ignoble
mentality does not permit him to let the
occasion pass without his complaining
about his dissatisfaction with the size of
his salary. Like any petty bureaucrat this
is his biggest preoccupation and
accordingly he devotes the greatest
segment of his speech to this subject.

Royal Crown


bottled by




The pl.rj-c the "'Rule of-! L i," wincl
our c-, i i r u rti n celebrJr-. iin the
qu.ti all.' ri ab. l <*. rnit. .3n >eI craJ ( Ihlbi a1J
f v.b iicli tL rliecr c.-,nprie ihe e-.senci of
our ab..ra. c u p i i ...t .Ju [ice.' .
T hlie ul ...I L '.in.. Ii i.i ili ii I .ll p '.- er
wit hiln h t [l.e i :l. 1 b.' irci d nl
In j 'C'.''.'l r.\ ** ill, IJkc- d laws ,l ti. l ind, i iI .;c e I j < in [tur
shall b i Jdmniii.erd impJrtliaJl b, the
courts, itlh,.lul f[ ar .r [ \,..,ur. ai d thai t
all cI u cr. hall lha\I i pri.mpt arid
urihi eni 'r, : d Ciacc s ti.' hc C iJur[
The Rule it LiJ\ is the cIticten ,
protection iagarin'r tIn Jrbitrar\ use ..'
poiv.i hI, tlh e '.ta'le 'i a i i l lI oi t L'Jaein
or bi, ani, I i ulIl.'Cr anid all legid
per i..._ : .thei r rlhe h, irindi iduals 'i r
c--r[' r'ri l i i r J-r C ric 1 lil ( i r e ii
al.' sul!'I [ lI it .
Th,. Ruile- '' L..i. 1 .1i ii tuir'.I.n- l l. _Lil

in'tinc, t d \.dl .if t isi .i nd eq uait', ,
willrci ire s .i b, ..,litell e cer, ril.d t, b .I.-
gr,-, 1h L,-,I" a ,i i r,,,crtj c en C ilirjii.ait.n
The Rui l. :r L W pr...r'i:,ed aind
real!-. d thir':'ugh lii i ,,n te- r 'r m ,'_,
Courts it LJa a nd it tl-we ir': at all
co rn ip t .,,t L- ic ll ii ,- n t!1 i 'r l!t ci t i ,1
tIcl i pertl. iIia iL-. ,C- ul i .t i T,. I litCer
1S iialul ted.
It might be comforting to believe that
a people's instinct for justice is
indestructible, but this is a highly
questionable proposition and rests more
on blind faith in human nature on the
experience of history. The fact is that our
instinct for justice can be destroyed. It
can be lulled into dormancy. It can be
violently repressed. It can be killed with
guns. Where people are insecure and feel
continuously threatened in their persons
or in their jobs then their primitive
instinct for survival rather than their
instinct for justice will most certainly
dominate their preoccupations and
instruct their behaviour.

Of all the catechism imposed on us by
the imperialist we have learnt nothing
more thoroughly than the precept that
we must hold our courts of law and our
judges in unqualified awe and respect.
And so, by and large, we have religiously
refused to scrutinize the administration
of justice in our courts and have, as we
were taught to do, accepted their
integrity on trust.
It was left to the heavy-handed
extravagances of our present government
and the insensitivity of its arrogant young

Att.,rne General to expose in all its
flagrant', the mockery of justice that our
liv. courts are threatening to become. It
has c._me t-, us as something of a shock to
realise. now that we have pulled our
heads out of the sand., hat fools we
V.ere tha have been taken in b\ the
nediesal cositumern and pompous latin
phlrrase oil .uur judicial institutions. It is
trumriatic t'c realize that the. are little
mor.:- no\ than heavily disguised
instnruJments of political repression.
And perhaps the\ always have been.
hTien Butler was jailed for sedition in
I1' .. no one, a's far as we remember,
criticized the judicial aspect of this
ili..orugli!\ p,_litcal solution to the crisis
thlt faced the country at that time. No
roe crlicizied It because the solution was
prc.rrit,:d.i ludiciaJ disguise Once a
v,?ritcri,: r. handed down, hlterallts from
-hir lh1., b', I Judge bedizenedi in lowing
\' j.nd scjrlet robes., e assume that has
liJdigrment cian nl\ hJa.e been inspired bv
J liiph'er *nerne f and must be
he,, ind the criticin ul fla men. A cynical
Li,,ernmeri could effect el\ use this
mr-ans t ,:, legitimii. its grossest acts of
t., ranr', .

Few have stopped to consider the
incontrovertible statistical fact that the
gallows, the prison and the cat-o-nine-tails
were and are used almost exclusively
against the under-privileged, the
uneducated and the unemployed.
The sensation provoked by the trial of
a person of a higher social class, for
example, the trial of Dr. Dalip Singh,
only serves to emphasize this general
point. But here it may be argued that
justice must be no respector of persons,
and that the Rule of Law has nothing to
do with sociology or economics; that
these sciences must find their own
solutions while the courts march on
blindly distributing their justice, left,
right and centre, indifferent to the social
and economic inferences that emerge
irrestibly from their conduct. This may
be all well and good interference.
But once the courts behave in a
manner which discloses transparently that
they are politically motivated, or, worse
yet, politically directed, then all fall
down. Nobody is any longer bound by
the rules of the game. Criticism of the
entire masquerade becomes not only
legitimate but imperative, and the society
must, before it is too late, take whatever
measures it can to protect itself and to
restore integrity to its institutions.



Page 8 COURT MARTIAL SPECIAL: First Anniversary Of The February Revolution


One of the defence counsel in the Court Martial strikingly but unwisely
referred to the Trinidad and Tobago Regiment as a "Salvation Army".
The comparison is grossly unfair to the real Salvation Army. The
Salvation Army knows the purpose of its existence; is militant in the
pursuit of that purpose and modest in everything else; functions
through a chain of command in which rank is based on moral authority;
is geographically widespread and administratively decentralised; and
knows no politics but the politics of work in the communities.
The chief difference, of course, is that
the Salvation Army is at war all the time.
And so it runs night shelters instead of
nightclubs, obedience are necessary in all situatic
Our Army will probably never be at in order to ensure discipline in battlefi
war, since anyone likely to wish us harm conditions -- indeed whether th
will either be overwhelmingly powerful or factors alone can ensure disciple
will not themselves have the force to without the voluntary self-discipl
attack us except by mens of very limited arising from confidence in one's lead
sea or air bombardment. (No marks for and respect for oneself.
guessing who) In the latter case, a
landing would be unlikely to follow the DESPERATION
bombardment, because to supply a
sustained attack of this kind is The Army is only one of the areas
prohibitively expensive for almost any which colonial conditions and attitude
nation. In any case many of out prevail in our national life, an
neighbours dare not commit any consequently only one of the areas
substantial portion of their forces outside which disillusionment and loss
their own territory, for fear of revolution confidence in the government has broke
erupting at home. out. The reaction of the men now on tri
DISCIPLINE to the conditions cluminating in tl
Emergency and more specifically,
Subversion? As the "Trinidad the role they were expected to play in tt
Guardian" pointed out, the only Cubans Emergency was only one facet of
in the Northern Range were at the Hilton complex of reactions on the part of tl
Hotel, and they seemed singularly population to a rapidly growing sense o
unmilitant. In any case the peasantry of desperation. That is why a court trial
Trinidad is not in the Northern Range, or such circumstances cannot make sense
even the Central or Southern Ranges, but the abstract and cannot but be corrupt
in Caroni, and there Mr. Badass is his own reality. The criteria of "guilty"
army. "innocent" just do not apply.
A shrimp war? Hardly the job for a PR
land force. No, we are unlikely to need an PURE FARCE!
army for war in the conventional sense. Laws do not exist apart fro
But in an unconventional sense we, like institutions; on the contrary, they a
the Salvation Army, are constantly at institutions; on the contrary, they
war. Their enemy is the Devil: so is ours evolved to regulate the activities
-- the devil of poverty and accepted institutions and increase the
unemployment. So why not a Salvation strength and effectiveness. They cann
Army? resuscitate moribund institution
Military law exists to regulate tl
COLONIAL REGIMENT activities of the defence forces. If
institutions, in this case the Army, is
In TAPIA Nos. 10 and 12 we have unstable that it can be prey to disrupt,
already made reference to the conditions incidents involving almost all i
in the Regiment which are now being personnel, then the institution and i
exposed in such eloquent detial by the laws are both discredited. Only politic
accused officers. We have shown how the measures are then capable of repairii
Regiment maintained the obsolete them.
Colonial conditions and practices To bring in Commonwealth office
inappropriate in societies seeking to and say to them "Look, we share yol
overthrow colonial behaviour. We have views of military organisation an
questioned whether strict subordination, military justice, only we have found it
degrading punishment and instant difficult to apply them that we have n





one left who can carry them out, so you
must come in and do the job, after which
we will carry on from there" is pure
Concrete proposals for reform must
arise from serious national discussion. But
the kinds of possibilities we must
consider-some of which TAPIA has put
forward in earlier issues are:
The military establishment might
be integrated into national reconstruction
efforts agriculture, civil engineering,
adult education, medical services,
technical training. All this would turn the
large defence budget to greater national
use. This might be accomplished in
conjunction with the scheme suggested
by TAPIA for compulsory non-military
national service, a scheme in which
everyone would be enlisted at eighteen
years of age for work in all these areas,
for a period of perhaps one or two years,
and older professionals would be required
to give their services in the communities
for short periods, in the course of, say,
five or ten years.

To assist in this work and to give
the population familiarity with and
confidence in the army, the latter should
perhaps be split up into 5 or 6 county
units throughout the country.

Within the army itself, there should
be a drastic rethinking of organisational
principles, particularly of disciplinary
practices. Is there the same need for
automatic and reflex obedience in all
situations? Is the strict distinction in all
situations between "officers" and "other
ranks" appropriate to our society, if not
present, then future? For example, why
should courts martial be composed of
officers only? In fact, why should people
not be disciplined as far as possible by
their equals rather than by their superiors
in rank?


In the remote likelihood of a
foreign invasion would not a scheme of
periodic military training for all
able-bodied citizens, to provide a large
permanent reserve, together with a small
permanent nucleus of offers and NCO'S,
be more useful for national defence?

We do not suggest that the new
defence force be called the Salvation
Army, but that is what it will be a
spearhead in the battle for national

.V Z 7' --- -
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-c~ J.' --.
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-r. ( -

OUSE Publishing Co. Ltd., by Vanruard Publishinrq Co. Ltd.. San Fernando

UcZstri 3tDaL,

Insist on your democratic right to discuss politics openly.
Draw on your TAPIA newspaper for help with facts and ideas.
Discuss them in your community or group: Help to make serious
discussion and constructive community action the new, unconventional,
politics of Trinidad and Tobago.

Press for improved administration and popular participation in all levels of
government village, city, county and national. It's YOUR country and
you CAN do something about it.

Form a TAPIA HOUSE GROUP in your area or come to TAPIA meeting.
Help to distribute TAPIA Join us in groundings round the country every
afternoon and on weekends.

Demand a CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY, broadly representative of all
special interest groups in Trinidad and Tobago, to discuss and agree on the
Constitutional changes needed.


Demand CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM to reduce the Prime Minister's
powers over appointments, boundaries, electoral machinery etc. BEFORE
any so-called new elections are held.