Cricket Tuesday virtually moved from Kensington Oval to Parliament when Opposition legislator Santia Bradshaw and Prime Minister Freundel Stuart clashed on who was being hit for six.
During her contribution to the debate on the Magistrate’s Courts Amendment Bill 2016, Bradshaw recalled that Stuart recently stated that he was hit for six when he was told that murder accused were being granted bail in Barbados. She said the Prime Minister’s expression bothered her.
“I am concerned that the utterances from the Prime Minister that he was hit for six regarding the issue of bail is one that perhaps has hit me for six . . . . I am not sure if he meant to say that or if it was reported badly,” Bradshaw said.
“It is time that we stop making these open comments knowing that we have a society that . . . can appreciate that the very people who have the power to effect change in our society are the very people who are uttering these pronouncements that they are hit for six by a judicial system that has existed from time immemorial.”
However, Stuart took objection to Bradshaw’s account of when bail was first given to people charged with murder, arguing that the Member of Parliament for St Michael South East was wrong.
“She is misleading the House in making the statement that the system that we are talking about had existed from time immemorial,” Stuart said.
“That’s precisely why I was hit for six, because when I got admitted to the bar . . . in those days no murder accused got bail in Barbados. It only happened if in the course of the preliminary enquiry the charge was reduced to manslaughter.
“And then the Bail Act came and changed all of that. So I don’t know what you talking about. You don’t know what you talking about.”
The Bail Act became law in Barbados in 2000.
The Prime Minister’s intervention did not deter Bradshaw who countered that Stuart ought to have known about the right of murder accused to be granted bail.
“The Prime Minister is expected to know certain, or most things that are happening in this country; and if he does not, he is supposed to seek the guidance of the Attorney General on matters such as this. It is not that he is a lay person,” she insisted.
Bradshaw had earlier questioned whether Stuart intended to propose changes to the law, stating that should this be the case he ought to take it to Parliament.
“If it is that the Prime Minister has a position that he would like reflected by legislative change then that is a discussion and debate that should not only engage Cabinet but should engage this chamber, because the Prime Minister cannot be hit for six on issues of accused getting bail for murder, and leave the comments just hanging,” the Opposition parliamentarian said.