DONALD RODNEY, the brother of Working People’s Alliance (WPA) leader, Dr. Walter Rodney, who was killed during a bomb blast in 1980, on Thursday, 21 November 2019, held a protest in front of the Court of Appeal building, High Street, Kingston.
Donald is calling for a hearing date to be set in his appeal against his 1982 conviction for possession of explosives.
“I will be mounting a vigil outside of the Court of Appeal as action for a date to be set for my appeal in the Court of Appeal to proceed, and calling for a thorough investigation into the previous, unlawful High Court hearing purporting to dismiss my appeal.” Donald Rodney said.
The vigil will be held one day per week, Donald Rodney said as he explained that he will also be launching a ‘I am Walter Rodney’ petition to be signed and submitted to the Court of Appeal Registry and the Chancellor.
On May 23, 2019 the Court of Appeal ordered that Donald Rodney’s appeal against the 1982 conviction for possession of explosives be allowed to proceed, but a date has not yet been set.
The applicant explained that, on October 14, 2019, he was promised that the Registry would “contact” him that day, or the following day.
“To date, over a month later, there has been no such contact despite a letter to the senior registry officer pointing this out, and requesting a date to be set. This was the second letter to the Registry, as follow-up to previous visits, asking for a hearing date” he stressed.
On May 23, 2019, Rodney said, “the Appeal Court also ordered that the High Court appeal hearing purporting to dismiss my appeal against the 1982 conviction was unlawful for lack of jurisdiction”.
“This is serious since, in addition to that unlawfulness, neither I nor a representing attorney-at-law was notified beforehand or present at the hearing. Yet two senior judges, in the presence of the prosecution, staged, effectively, a secret hearing and dismissal of my appeal” he disclosed.
Last year, Rodney said, that he had written the Supreme Court Registrar, Ms Sueanna Lovell, requesting the name(s) of those purporting to file his appeal, but did not receive a response.
The younger Rodney was convicted for being in possession of an explosive, which killed Dr Rodney and served an 18-month sentence.
Donald Rodney was reported to have been the person to witness the explosion which killed his brother on June 13, 1980.
A Commission of Inquiry (CoI) had been set up on February 8, 2014 to determine who was responsible for the death of the world-renowned historian by examining the circumstances which lead to the bomb blast.
The report of the commission did not point to any one person or entity.