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DPP Distances herself from narco activities

Six days following one of the most scandalous narco busts, which netted over 763 kilos of cocaine, several assault rifles, a white Piper Twin Engine Aircraft and implicated four police officers, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Cheryl Lynn Vidal has broken her silence to distance herself from the alleged involvement of her bodyguard and driver.

On Thursday morning, Vidal issued a lengthy press release to state: “I had no knowledge or suspicion of, and no involvement in, the events of last Friday.” She then went on to label the comments made in the public which attempt to link her to the actions of her former security detail Cpl Delwin Casimiro as, ”hurtful, scurrilous and utterly untrue.”

Vidal went on to write that she is deeply saddened by the situation, since she has dedicated almost 23 years of her carrier to the criminal justice system, as a prosecutor. Vidal said that while she has endured years of unpopular and public criticism for some of the decisions that she has taken during her tenure as Director of Public Prosecution, she thought it important that she face the noise in this instance to address the comments because apart from tearing down her public image, they are also threatening something of even bigger importance.

“They are also potentially damaging to public confidence in the criminal justice system if left unanswered. It is, most of all, this latter consideration that has impelled me to make this statement,” Vidal noted.

According to Vidal, in an effort to avoid any conflict of interest in the matter, her office will not participate in the investigation or prosecution of the officers. Vidal then went on to entrust her confidence in the Commissioner of Police Chester Williams who she says will “spare no effort to bring the offenders to justice.”

“I hope that the gravity and impact of the actions of these officers are not lost on them. The terrible betrayal of the trust that was reposed in them; the shadows unfairly cast on the careers of others who believed in them and looked after their welfare; doubt in the criminal justice system; and the embarrassment that they have caused to their colleagues, the Department and to the country as a whole,” penned Vidal.

She went on to note that on Friday, November 5th, 2021, she was informed by the Commissioner of Police that Casimiro had been detained on suspicion of having committed a drug trafficking offense and since then have been charged, arraigned, and remanded to the Hattieville Prison.

For Context, while Vidal, confirmed that Casimiro was assigned to her security detail in 2019, she has known him since 2012, when he was a member of the Gang Suppression Team. She claimed that even while Casimiro was assigned to her, he continued to engage in operations with the Commander Operations Strike Team, which then came to an end in November 2020 when she had requested that he refrain from participating in additional duties due to COVID-19.

Despite all that Vidal noted that nothing in her interaction with Casimiro and her observations of him over the years alerted her, or even warned her that he could have been engaged in any criminal activity. As it relates to her husband ACP Marco Vidal, she said that they have been separated for over a year and that they do not maintain any communication with each other.

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