A Troublesome State of Affairs


The Labour Party has finally succeeded in obtaining the tacit support of L’Entente de l’Espoir for its protest meeting that it is holding this afternoon in the Constituency of Moka and Quartier Militaire (No 8) against the current government’s actions and misdoings. One particular focus of the LP will undoubtedly be the unresolved murder case of Soopramanien Kistnen, former chief agent of the MSM in the same constituency, whose death was initially wrapped up in a cloak of suicide by the police but ultimately revealed by a judicial inquiry to be a case of cold-blooded murder. It is thanks to the persistent efforts of the ‘Avengers’, a group of public-spirited lawyers, led by Rama Valayden, that the issue has been kept alive, and the truth made public.

Although we can base ourselves only on non-disputed extracts aired by Radio Plus and others, what the judicial inquiry started by the former Director of Public Prosecutions into this case in fact revealed was a long list of serious deficiencies in the police inquiry, the unequivocal conclusion that it was an assassination and a series of motives that might explain the latter. We have thus learnt about the questionable role played by investigating officials, the strange conditions of the autopsy, the conflicting evidence of expert forensic doctors on the cause of death of the victim, the disappearance or unavailability of vital information such as mobile phones or the ‘Kistnen Papers’ relating to election expenses in that same constituency allegedly in excess of authorised constituency campaign ceilings as prescribed by law, the mystery surrounding the unavailability of Safe City video recordings of the movements of the victim on the fateful day of his assassination, the connections of the murder of S. Kistnen with the emergency procurement of medical equipments and drugs in 2020, etc.

The fact that one senior minister was nominally in charge of both the STC and Commerce during those procurement scandals and his public whitewashing by the PM despite a forced resignation has angered much of the population feeling the cynical injustice being meted out to the widow and Kistnen families. Anything goes; the law can be flouted, rules bypassed, and that is why the Kistnen murder case is much more than a petty crime; what the judicial inquiry brought to light was a total breakdown in the governance culture and practices that for decades had established the Mauritius jurisdiction as a credible rule of law destination.

Not much has changed, however, since that assassination if we go by the questionable methods being employed to date to track down and intimidate opponents of the regime. As for restoring some shreds of credibility to the police investigations if any, the latest sortie of the PM arguing that other murders too have remained unresolved, is rather shocking in its underlying implications. Is the police being comforted if their investigations lead nowhere? Is it a cynical approach that such “political murders” should be simply swept under the carpet? Read More… Become a Subscriber

Mauritius Times ePaper Friday 18 November 2022

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