The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), has called for the General Legal Council and the Jamaican Bar Association (JAMBAR) to take “punitive and/or disciplinary measures” against Vybz Kartel’s attorney Isat Buchanan, for his lewd references to the Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn on an online platform on the weekend.
During a discussion surrounding the debate about an increase in the retirement age for the DPP and the Auditor General, Buchanan had said he wanted to begin the discussion about the increase in the DPP’s retirement age by quoting the lyrics to Kartel’s Menace to Society, which he claimed was aimed at Llewellyn.
Describing the song as a “poetic rendition, that has Shakespearian marvel” Buchanan had not only cited a line from the song which said “speaking of c-cky, hey Paula, go suck a d-ck!” but added that it was “a verse from Vybz Kartel.”
“And I am sure he is saying that right now. Menace to Society. Would you like me to repeat it? Menace to society, verse two Vybz Kartel says: ‘speaking of c-cky, hey Paula, go suck a d-ck!’. That’s what he says in that song. It’s a very poetic song. You might want to look at It. So, I start the conversation there,” Buchanan had stated.
But on Monday, hours after Gender and Entertainment Minister rebuked Buchanan for his statements, and called for his sacking as PNP’s Human Rights Commission chair, the PSOJ gave him a public tongue-lashing.
“Most recently, a video surfaced in which attorney-at-law Isat Buchannan and Chair of the PNP’s HR Committee – who resigned today -quoted a known convict’s derogatory statement directed towards the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and additionally referenced our constitution in vulgar terms,” the organisation said in a release shared on its website.
“The PSOJ vehemently denounces this venomous and misogynistic attack against the DPP. Such demeaning statements directed at the individual tasked with leading our fight against criminals are wholly unacceptable and starkly contrary to all standards of civility and respect… It is essential that the legal profession maintains the highest ethical standards, and actions that undermine the dignity of public office must not go unaddressed,” it added.
According to The Gleaner, on Monday, attorney Neco Pagon had explained that Buchanan’s utterances could be grounds for disciplinary action, “with regard to breaches of professional conduct”.
“It’s one thing to criticise your fellow colleague as well as the office of the DPP, but it is another thing to be so crass to the point where you are descending and bringing this sort of contempt towards the office. It is surprising, to say the least,” he explained.
Immediate past president of JAMBAR, Alexander Williams, described Buchanan’s behaviour as “disgraceful” according to the newspaper.
“Put aside being an attorney. As a gentleman who has respect for women in society, how could you possibly think what you said, much less say it privately or publicly? Never mind the fact that you are quoting a convicted criminal,” Williams had said.
Attorney-at-law Shauna-Gay Mitchell also decried Buchanan’s behaviour, pointing out that Jamaica was highly misogynistic Jamaica and rife with abuse of females.
“And, if he can feel so comfortable as an attorney, let alone any human being, that is just the heights of disrespect. And he would have known what he was saying but just did not care,” she told The Gleaner.
“By him making the statement, it is almost as if he is adopting Vybz Kartel’s position. So, yes, his resignation is definitely warranted and I don’t think anybody needed to call for his resignation,” she added.
The PNP’s Women’s Movement has also condemned Buchanan’s actions, declaring that his behaviour goes “against the principles and values that our party upholds”.
“We are fully aware of the pressing gender inequality issue and normalised violence against women in our country… Our swift acceptance of Mr Buchanan’s resignation upon learning of the unfortunate incident demonstrates our consistent stance against all forms of abuse or violence towards women,” the organisation said.