By NAN Contributor
News Americas, KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Weds. July 27, 2016: The attorney for a New York based St. Vincent & the Grenadines-born calypso singer says his client is innocent of charges of uttering treasonable words and threatening to kill the island’s Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves and members of his family.
The calypsonian, Paul ‘I Madd’ Scrubb, according to St. Vincent media reports, is accused of maliciously sending or uttering threats to kill PM Gonsalves between December 9 and 31 last year. According to the charges the calypsonian said “Ralph Gonsalves should be assassinated, also his whole damn family period.”
Scrubb who sang ‘Kicking Them Out,’ was arrested last Friday at the E.T. Joshua Airport as he was about to return to the U.S. after a five week stay. He appeared before Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne Matthias at the Serious Offences Court on Monday, July 25, 2016 but was not required to plead. He was, however, released on EC$25,000 bail and ordered to report to a police station on Mondays and Thursday, surrender all travel documents and obtain the permission of the court to leave the country. His next court appearance is October 31, 2016.
Israel Bruce, the attorney for Scrubb, says his client is innocent and is accusing the government of engaging in a witch-hunt. “Mind you, the utterances, as alleged, were not made by this man; not by this man. But that is a legal hurdle which I will not address,” Bruce said after the hearing, adding that the government is trying to intimidate its critics overseas.
“What is exciting to note is that Mr. Scrubb [was] in St. Vincent for five weeks and on the very day he was about to board the …aircraft, he was taken from the airport terminal and he was taken to the Central Police Station, he was interviewed and then charged,” he added while noting that the prosecution was asking three months to prepare its case given the fact that the charges were being brought seven months after the offences were allegedly committed.
Bruce said the prosecution of Scrubb is the government’s way of sending a message to Vincentians in the Diaspora “wherever you are, do not say anything because when you come to St. Vincent, we can use our powers of arrest and arrest you.”
Scrubb is part of the New York-based Vincentian Dynamite Calypso Tent. His other songs include “I Love This Land” and “Exile Son.”