DPP yet to issue advise in Tamieka Clarke’s arrest by SOCU

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The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Shalimar Ali-Hack is yet to issue legal advice on the way forward following the arrest of attorney Tamieka Clarke two weeks ago by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU).

When contacted by News Room on Friday, Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum said the file is still with the DPP.

The investigation into the arrest conducted by the Police Office of Professional Responsibility was completed one week ago and forwarded to the DPP.

Clarke, an attorney for seven years, four of which she prosecuted on behalf of the DPP commenced legal proceedings against SOCU seeking damages and several declarations following her wrongful arrest on October 28.

In the proceedings which were filed in the High Court on November 4, Clarke is petitioning the court to declare that her fundamental right to personal liberty as guaranteed and protected by Article 139 of the Constitution of Guyana was breached by SOCU when she was arrested and detained for advising her client to remain silent.

She is also seeking declarations that the detention and seizure of her cellular phone by SOCU without permission was wrongful; that an attorney to practice in Guyana is entitled to advise a client of his/her right to remain silent when being questioned by members of law enforcement and that an attorney is entitled to consult with his/her client in private without the contents said being recorded in any way.

In the court documents seen by the News Room, Clarke is seeking damages in excess of $100,000 for wrongful arrest and detention and damages in excess of $100,000 for breach of a lawyers’ fundamental rights and freedoms.

On Friday last, lawyers dressed in their robes protested outside of SOCU’s Camp Street, Georgetown office.

Clarke’s arrest has been condemned by the Guyana Bar Association, Attorney General Anil Nandlall and other legal bodies from the region and further afield.

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