IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST: Getting licks because you are small
WHEN YOU LIVE in a small country like I do, very often you can’t help but get the impression that life can be most unfair to us vis-à-vis larger so-called developed countries.
Such was the case with me on Monday morning as I listened to the news while driving to work. The item of interest to me spoke of the number of Caribbean people whose names have appeared on INTERPOL’s most recent “most wanted” list. In particular, the part that identified Trinidadian Jack Warner as being on the list set me thinking.
I don’t need to say who Jack Warner is or even describe his background. He is now such an infamous character that there can’t be a West Indian of reading age alive anywhere in the world who has not heard of him.
But regardless of how we saw him, I can’t help but think that everyone deserves nothing less than equal treatment.
So here’s where I have the problem: Warner was accused of a number of corruption offences. Fine.
He was arrested by Trinidad authorities on an extradition warrant from United States law enforcement agencies. Fine.
He chose, as is his right under the law, to fight that extradition in a Trinidad court. Fine.
While the hearing and matters relating to it are taking place, the Trinidad court has allowed him to remain free on bail. Fine.
In the name of all that is right and fair, why then should Warner’s name appear on an INTERPOL most wanted list?
Every day all over the world people are listed as “wanted”. Some are arrested or turn themselves in, and based on the disposition of the court, are either given bail or remanded. But they cease to be listed as wanted.
So is Jack Warner getting special treatment? Or is it the small island phenomenon – big country people and agencies will beat up on you when they like, where they like, how they like, for as long as they like and there is nothing you can do about it.
Hopefully, eventually whatever is due to Jack Warner he will get, but in the meanwhile, he deserves nothing less than what any person in similar circumstances in Washington, Moscow, London, Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Tel Aviv or any other metropolitan centre would expect.