Donley Saunders thrown under the bus by Hamilton and PAM
Basseterre St.Kitts - Monday April 16th 2012 -
Mr. Donley Saunders has been a respectable man in the society and his plight, as it has been presented in this PAM-Democrat article, is truly unfortunate. It is only now the word is on the street, that Mr. Saunders has been convicted of the charge of "Fraudulent Conversion" that people are talking about the case the Democrat and PAM’S so – called victim of the justice system.
At the end of it all I believe that Mr. Saunders, like each of us, has a story and can learn a lesson. The justice system is based on the principle of fairness and if "the Dentist" or any other person feels aggrieved by the actions or inactions of Mr. Saunders, Mr. Saunders then would have been given his day(s) in court to disclose how he discharged his duties as attorney for the Dentist.
Therefore it is sad that this article was written by the Democrat, as its publication has thrown Mr. Saunders under the proverbial bus of public opinion and scrutiny. The writer has done Mr. Saunders a disservice and truly I am left to recite the adage, "where speech is silver, silence is golden." I would believe that the moral support that Mr. Saunders would have needed in this hour of need was sadly not given when this article is understood for its non-value.
Permit me to dissect the article through the analysis of 6 statements emanating from the article.
"The charge was fraudulent conversion, a technical and complicated legal jargon that the twelve jurors, ordinary working people in all probability never understood... Donley Saunders fate was put in the hands of twelve ordinary jurors with no understanding of what a sophisticated building contract is about."
The legal dictionary defines Fraudulent Conversion as the action of taking into possession another man’s money or property and converting or using them fraudulently for one’s own use and benefit or for the use and benefit of a third party to whom the property or money does not belong.
Its complication and technicality are lost on me and all other ordinary working people who would understand that if any person who takes another person's money and uses it for personal use or gives it to another, without the consent of the owner, they can be charged and tried. As an ordinary man myself, I cannot discount the services of the jurors who listened to evidence from the prosecutor and from Mr. Saunders' defence team and returned a verdict of guilty.
The justice system is based on a trial by peers. I would gather that the ordinary working people are not in the minds of the writer, worthy of this consideration when it comes to Mr. Saunders and those of his earning capacity and greater. My interpretation of the article is that Mr. Saunders' fate was put in the hands of ignorant and unfit men and women.
It is sad that a political party, who asks these very same ordinary people to weigh in on the complicated and technical areas of finance, economics and political philosophy and legislation when they seek to indict the government on budget overruns and poor fiscal management, tax concessions to jump-start the economy, public life integrity act.
I believe that the Democrat should aplogise to the ordinary jurors and the ordinary working people like you and me for this slight. This act of condescension seeks to say that Mr. Saunders is no ordinary working man, as has earned more than $12,000.00 per month and has an associates degree and that the justice system had no capacity to understand the charges laid against him.
Rather than beating up on the ordinary men and women in this country, the writer should have sought to bring us the facts that he thought would have eluded the jurors. So the absence of such evidence says that the writer is throwing us a red-herring to distract us and therefore he has thrown Donley under the bus.
"It will come as no surprise that Donley Saunders has been a platform speaker for the Peoples Action Movement over many years and a key coordinator of the successful 2010 election campaign of the Hon. Eugene Hamilton in the area of St. Peters."
The political association of Mr. Saunders is a constitutional right and his organisation skills as a key coordinator of the successful campaign would be irrelevant to a case of Fraudulent Conversion. Unless, there is some admission being made by the writer that is not being fully disclosed.
Could it be that some of the funds that the writer speaks of might have been converted to assist a third party in the successful 2010 election campaign in the area of St. Peter's? Hmmmm....
I have no proof of any of this but I was made to speculate as I began to think about this matter and to ask questions. One such question was, Why open Mr. Saunders to be run over by the bus called scrutiny?
It is now left for the honourable gentleman to tell the nation as he did on January 20, 2010 (then via WINN-FM when asked about his political leader and the Marriott fiasco) that he stands 100% behind Mr. Saunders in this matter, because the article has not said any where that the writer stands behind Mr. Saunders and his innocence. And that is glaringly missing.
"People would be astonished to learn that the police investigation concerned a building contract and the wild claims of a disgruntled foreign investor in relation to the remarkable generosity shown by Donley Saunders to the disgruntled man from Miami."
This statement shows that the writer and sympathisers of this article are prejudicial and are prepared to focus only on the issues that they consider to be important. I would not discount the writer's appeal for the police to focus on crime prevention and detection, however the focus of our law enforcement agencies should be holistic and the police should never be discouraged from investigating any aspect of crime, including white collar crimes, in this post 911 global society.
The Democrat would be the first to write that foreign direct investment into the Federation took a blow because would-be investors are afraid of being scammed in the Federation and the police had not satisfactorily investigated and successfully prosecuted these crimes.
So I would have to ask therefore of the writer to clarify the sentiments expressed here because I have gathered that the writer believes that the police have investigated a crime, charged an individual who was innocent insomuch that a jury of his peers returned a guilty verdict after viewing the evidence, and that he should not have been investigated, not because the evidence showed him to have been accountable and aboveboard in his dealings, but because the aggrieved party is a "disgruntled man from Miami."
These are more tyre marks on Donley's back if you ask me.
"Mr. Saunders is not a builder. He is not an engineer. He is not an architect. He is not technically trained or experienced in Construction. The dentist from Miami knew that."
I once heard a Barbadian gentleman by the name of G. Ralph Thompson say, "It is the truly educated man who knows his limits." He does not do stuff because he can make more money or because he does not want to say no. He understands what his limits are and he operates within the ambit of his limits.
The writer begins to show that Donley may have acted beyond his capacity and here is where Donley has been demoted to the position of an ordinary working man, by the writer. Here, Donley is not acting in the role of key coordinator he was lauded to have been in the party where he also worked for free and has no formal training in political science. So the plot thickens as 12 simpletons in a jury pool convicted a PAM activist who was accused of duping a disgruntled man from Florida who in the first instance was tricking him.
I pray this was not the crux of his defence. For a simple mind like mine would say "Guilty" too.
I believe a man with an associates degree and who rose to the position of a director would understand that every duty one undertakes brings upon him/her responsibilities and other expectations. And whether he is paid for it or not, and whether he has professional qualifications and certifications or none, he is not absolved of the responsibilities and expectations.
"The dentist trading on Donley’s business association with his wife, had the gall to actually ask Donley to be his project manager in his profit making scheme... The dentist trading on Donley’s business association with his wife, had the gall to actually ask Donley to be his project manager in his profit making scheme.... He asked him to do this incredible service for him as a favour, so that he could stay in Maini and pull teeth. Equally incredibly, Donley Saunders agreed to perform this service at no cost."
This quote follows in the same vein as the last as the writer seeks to suggest that Mr. Saunders was used and that today Mr. Saunders has been incarcerated solely for his act of Good Samaritanism.
What I gather from this act of butchery on Donley is a concurrence from the writer that Donley did agree to perform duties for an investor who became disgruntled.
The writer here seems to suggest that because Mr. Saunders agreed to provide the service for free, and he should have been allowed to provide a service of lesser value and that if any or none of the responsibilities would not have fallen to Mr. Saunders for the tasks he was charged with and he would not have likewise been asked to be accountable for the monies earmarked to the project.
So whether the dentist was in Miami pulling teeth, filling cavities, giving root-canals, fitting dentures, or playing golf, the man had a contractual arrangement with Mr. Saunders and his expectations were not met and the court agreed.
"Let Denzil Douglas take warning from this dangerous precedent that has been set... Tell them wet dey han’ and wait for arwe."
When it comes to St. Kitts and Nevis' social discourse, the name Denzil Douglas is like french-weed. It's not only perennial, it is ubiquitous.
I too am surprised that Dr. Douglas would have sought to involve himself and inform Dr. Ross of the police probe that was taking place. His involvement there is beyond me. But to believe that Mr. Saunders was charged as a result of Dr. Douglas' efforts is to feed the myth that Dr. Douglas is ten men in one.
To suggest that Douglas has his tentacles on the system, from police to jurors to judge feeds the mythological view and almost makes him the negro son of Zeus. If we come down from our mistaken vantage of Mt. Olympus, we would see how injudicious and fallacious these sentiments are.
When will an issue be an issue and not just a means of stoking political fires in the hearts of party firebrands?
When I look through this smoke screen I see this as an attempt by the PAM leadership in St. Christopher 8 to distance itself from Donley and that with which he has been convicted, without showing it on the surface. I say this because they have not offered anything with the remoteness of logic for ordinary working people to say "yes. I agree." So Donley becomes the scapegoat on whose back the role of political victim falls for partisan expedience. This is wrong and very wrong.
Further more, I read in this last statement a warning to all us ordinary working men and women. We are all asked to wet our hands and wait as there is a punishment to be meted out to all those who stand against the political posturing of the writer. I reiterate, it is the ordinary man and woman who are the plural figures that become the they (dey) that PAM plans to punish. (Tell them wet dey han’ and wait for arwe.)
There are many of us who are saddened at the news of Donley's predicament and this article does not encourage us to see him as a human being and to forgive him for having done that which had the potential to have nationals of St. Kitts and Nevis be termed as untrustworthy. Other potential investors could have turned away at the discovery of what he had been said to do.
We are still willing to respect and uphold Mr. Saunders as a son of our nation, and we pray that in this time of trouble that he will find the answers to life's troubling questions and that he may emerge from this situation with his faith intact, his understanding of self secured and his love for God and his fellowmen renewed.
DONLEY SAUNDERS – INNOCENT VICTIM OF THE JUSTICE SYSTEM
The shocker of all is that the article does not show how the "Justice System" denied Mr. Saunders of a fair trial; that evidence was concocted or the like. Nothing. Just because PAM and Donley said he did not do it is not enough.
PAM who has always boasted of its success rate in the courts now makes a blanket statement which condemns the police, the prosecutor, the jurors and the judge.
They ought to retract this article and pray for and with Mr. Saunders.