Last Updated on Thursday, 25 September 2014, 1:21 by GxMediaThe credibility of the man, who has accused House Speaker Raphael Trotman of sexually assaulting him when he was teenager, has been already called into question, even as the sister of a government minister called on her fellow lawyer to defend himself.
Attorney-at-Law, Jaya Manickchand – a sister of Education Minister Priya Manickchand- is at the centre of the controversy over the allegations made by 22-year old Johnny Antony Welshman.
Buttressing their stance that Welshman’s accusations were politically motivated, Trotman and his Alliance For Change (AFC) have released the contents of a Text Message between Jaya and the House Speaker about the accuser’s desire to reach a settlement.
Jaya, a former ruling-party nominated Elections Commissioner, has since taken umbrage to her intervention being regarded as politically motivated. Now, she has called on the House Speaker to release the full contents of their conversation and further defend himself against Welshman’s charged. “Stop trying to deflect from the allegation of sexual assault/buggery by making up that my involvement was political. Stop trying to take the spotlight off of you by trying to throw me under the bus and making me the issue. Do not deflect from the sex assault allegations. Defend them,” she told Trotman in a letter sent to media houses here.
Manickchand offered to take a lie detector test to prove that she was not part of a political plot only if Trotman was willing to be tested to clear his name of Welshman’s accusations. “I would be happy to take a lie detector test as to whether my involvement in this matter was in any way sinister and/or meant to distract from the AFC’s no confidence motion and/or to bring down the Speaker of the House or the AFC and/or in any way politically motivated, inspired, directed or driven if Raphael is also going to take a lie detector test to clear, what he insists is, his good name.
At the same time Attorney Manickchand said she did not know whether Trotman sexually assaulted or buggered Johnny Welshman. “If the allegation is false, then Welshman is one sick person and deserves urgent medical attention.” If Welshman is telling the truth or even parts of the truth, she suggested that he deserved a fair hearing without Trotman’s interference and might and the interference of his friends.
The House Speaker has since secured a High Court injunction restraining Welshman from making such allegations in the media and on his Facebook Page. Police said they were still checking aspects of Welshman’s formal complaint before questioning Trotman.
The AFC and Trotman have claimed that Welshman’s accusations have surfaced at a time when the opposition-controlled House was preparing to debate an AFC-sponsored no-confidence motion in the PPP-Civic-led administration.
In the case of Welshman, his credibility appeared to be sullied on Wednesday when the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Shalimar Hack stopped short of calling him a liar over his claims that she had assured him of protection. Hack said she never met Welshman.
“The Director of Public Prosecutions herein wishes to categorically state that at no time did she ever engage in a conversation, telephone or otherwise, with Mr, Welshman. The DPP further categorically states that since she did not have any conversation with Mr. Welshman, she could not or did not gave assurances that she will provide protection for him as is alleged,” said the DPP’s Chambers in a statement.
At the same time, the DPP’s Chambers confirmed that Welshman lodged a complaint at about 12:50 PM on Wednesday, September 24, 2014- the first time that he had interacted with or visited the DPP’s Chambers.
Attorney-at-Law Manickchand said that after he told her that he had made a report to the CID on Friday, September 19, 2014, she had advised him to report the matter to the DPP. “I told Johnny Welshman that the proper Attorney-at-Law to address complaints of a criminal nature is the DPP and he should seek Counsel with the Chambers of the DPP,” she said in her letter.
Jaya stressed repeatedly in her letter that she was never retained by Welshman and had been merely exploring the prospects of Trotman and his accuser reaching a settlement at which time she would have considered facilitating the settlement.
She acknowledged believing that the matter should have been dealt with privately because Trotman “has young daughters and I know allegations like the ones being made, can be hurtful to anyone, and particularly young, innocent girls. Further, given what Welshman told me and the manner in which he told me same, I felt he too would best be served by the route he (Welshman) was proposing, that being a settlement.”
Manickchand denied meeting Welshman in person on this occasion, but recalled interacting with him at the Children’s Legal Aid Clinic several years ago.