The Committee for Human Rights in Grenada (CHRG) is calling for a police enquiry into whether Cletus St Paul gave perjured evidence at the trial of the Grenada 17.
At the trial, St Paul claimed that while standing at the entrance to Fort Frederick on 19 October, he saw Bernard Coard and other members of the Central Committee arrive in a state of great urgency following the release of Maurice Bishop from his house detention by the crowd. He told the court that on their arrival they huddled together, and then one of the Central Committee members made short statement to soldiers at the fort, indicating that Bishop and others had taken over Fort George and that they must be liquidated.
CHRG has obtained evidence from a number of witnesses that severely challenges the truth of the evidence given by St Paul, in particular:
- At the time Bernard Coard and the other Central Committee members arrived at Fort Frederick, Cletus St Paul was not present, he was being detained at Camp Fedon in Calivigny. The members of the Central Committee arrived at Fort Frederick at approximately 11 am, shortly after Maurice Bishop was released by the crowd. St Paul arrived at the fort at around 12:30 with the mobile unit led by Conrad Mayer, and therefore did not witness the arrival of the Central Committee members or see any meeting as he claimed. Indeed, at the Preliminary Hearing held in 1984, his own evidence was that he arrived at Fort Frederick at 12:20 pm.
- When he did finally arrive, we have evidence to suggest he was not seated at the entrance to the fort, he was seated on an ammunition box some distance away and would not have been able to witness any meetings that took place.
- The reason that St Paul was in detention was because he had encouraged the spreading of a false rumour that Bernard and Phyllis Coard were planning to murder Maurice Bishop. We understand that he made statements both written and on tape admitting his involvement, but these were removed by the US forces following the invasion.
Without this questionable evidence, no properly conducted trial could have found the members of the Central Committee guilty of any crime.
Those who were imprisoned for many years are not seeking vengeance, and we are asking Cletus St Paul at this late stage to renounce his evidence, but if he is not willing to do so then we are calling for a full police inquiry into whether St Paul gave perjured evidence which would have resulted in a number of people being executed. We are happy to assist the authorities in their enquiries and have the authority of the witnesses to supply copies of their sworn affidavits.
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