Sunday, June 22, 2008

Of Banana Republics and Natural Justice

British mercenary Simon Mann, one of Africa's last ‘dogs of war’, went on trial in Equatorial Guinea on Tuesday for his role in a failed 2004 coup plot. He faces charges of crimes against the head of state, crimes against the government and crimes against the peace and independence of the state.

The right to an interpreter and translation is guaranteed by Article 440 of Equatorial Guinea’s Penal Procedure Code, as well as Article 14 (3) (f) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. However, the Reuters report on Simon Mann’s trial indicates that proceedings were conducted in Spanish without translation. Mann does not speak Spanish.

I mean I always knew that Equatorial Guinea is no picnic spot, but a trial in a language the defendant doesn’t understand? There is a natural justice principle which states that “justice must not only be done; it must also be seen to be done.” The courts of Equatorial Guinea have evidently never of it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ayan said...
He can be glad he is getting a trial. Some countries wouldn't even bother with that.

Indecision Personified! said...
Totally agree with Ayan!... and I see that what would generally have been a general topic of discussion (say over a friendly game of tt - for instance) has bothered you enough to write a post on it. A particular teacher of a much-maligned subject would be very pleased!

Rahul Saha said...
Why do you know this stuff?

A.K. Visalakshi said...
Rahul's comment could be useful for almost everything you say!