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EDITORIAL: Snub the rumours, and let courts do their work

THE accusations surrounding Adrian Gibson MP have landed in a courtroom.

Mr Gibson was yesterday in court to face a total of 56 charges. The accusations ranged from false declarations to bribery to fraud, money laundering and more.

He is not alone in facing such accusations. Also in court were former WSC general manager Elwood Donaldson Jr, Gibson’s cousin Rashae Gibson, his campaign general Joan Knowles, as well as Jerome Missick, Tonya Demeritte and Peaches Farquharson – with the six facing a combined 101 charges.

In numbers alone, the total weight of charges against those accused is striking. However, as with anyone facing court, all are considered innocent until proven guilty.

What matters now is a fair trial, for all concerned – with the court given the opportunity to weigh the evidence and come to a conclusion.

There will, no doubt, be a trial by social media. A lot of things will be claimed that will not be true. A lot of things may be said that, worse, could influence the outcome of the trial – and no one is a winner if the trial cannot come to a fair conclusion.

So be patient and let the process operate the way it is supposed to.

During the Shane Gibson case, in which he was not found guilty, the Supreme Court judge was even moved to bar commentary on the case, pointing to radio talk shows, social media and other platforms where debate around the case had reached a degree where court intervention was necessary.

It would be no surprise if social media discussion around this case was just as lively – in the intervening years, we have seen rumour fly further and faster even.

So if you see commentary or reporting, bear in mind where it comes from. Bear in mind if it is fair, if it is being delivered by a trustworthy source. If something is said that is untrue, how likely is that outlet to be held to account? Here at The Tribune, you can always knock on our door – you know where we are. The same cannot be said for some Facebook outlets that can disappear overnight.

That’s good advice at the best of times – but with the prospect of a high-profile case such as this one, doubly so right now.

Let the law operate the way it is supposed to – that’s the only way we can ever ensure there is justice.

Missing generation

The news that thousands of students have not returned to the classroom since schools reopened during the COVID-19 pandemic is disheartening, to say the least.

Where is this missing generation?

If they are not in school, where are they? If they are unable to study at home, where are they? If they are too young to be working, where are they? Who are these children turning to instead of turning to the education that can help them to better themselves in this world?

Some, no doubt, will be targeted by gangs as recruits, and this is how we become mired in gang warfare for another cycle of years.

Some have perhaps been trying to attend virtually but been unable to because of technical challenges – or even just not being able to afford the electric or cable bills.

Education Minister Glenys Hanna Martin says urgent action is required – and an “instructional plan for recovery” is in the works.

There might be a simpler step – simply have those who have been unable or unwilling to take part go through the year again. Reset the clock on the past year’s education, so that they have the opportunity to make up for what they have missed – without shame, without frowning or saying the children have been “held back” a year, simply acknowledging that COVID has stolen lives, has stolen health, and for some children it has stolen their education.

Give these children every chance to gain the qualifications they need to find a place in the workforce after they graduate, to give them opportunities they should not be denied because of a virus.

This COVID generation needs all the help it can get.

Comments

TalRussell 3 months, 3 weeks ago

How the ever, the Tribune's journalistic political history demonstrated it doesn't really mean ... as with anyone facing court, all are considered innocent until proven guilt.
Everything else like this and that political has not received an equal tone of coverage...in fact the contrast has gotten downright nastily and intently ugly in its reporting approaches by portraying the criminally charged as if not completely guilty...well they damn-well looks be damaged goods ― Yes?

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M0J0 3 months, 3 weeks ago

lol lol lol at this write up. How is one charged before the courts if there is not sufficient evidence is what has me lost. But hey everyone can pick up a pen or a phone and type or write.

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