Sunday, August 03, 2008

I Merely Report ...

The British government faces a potential diplomatic row with Antigua over the shooting of the honeymoon couple Catherine and Benjamin Mullany after demanding that anyone convicted of the crime will not face the death penalty. Antiguan officials told The Daily Telegraph that the Foreign Office attempted to make such a pledge a condition of allowing Scotland Yard detectives to fly out to help in the investigation. One senior Antiguan source said British officials initially demanded a signed guarantee from the country’s Prime Minister, Baldwin Spencer.

The Antiguan interior minister told the Foreign Office that the government could not make any such pledge as the death penalty was decided by the Caribbean island’s judiciary, which is technically independent. The British demand to its former colony is understood to have annoyed Antigua’s leadership. Eight years ago, the two countries clashed diplomatically with its former colony after the UK tried to stop the execution of Steadroy McDougal for the murder of a Scottish woman and her boyfriend.

You almost have to admire a government that has such a dedication to the interests of everyone except their own citizens.

(en passant, our new DPP, Keir Starmer, was instrumental in getting mandatory death sentences abolished in Jamaica, and reprieving 100 death row prisoners in Trinidad.)