Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 31st 2014 Contents He said while he respected the DPP s advice, it was
advice which must be contextualised.
He noted: "It is advice based on evidence the inves-
tigations unearthed and put to the DPP s office but
quite separate and apart from that, one would have
expected that the Medical Board would have by now
treated this matter with the urgency it clearly requires
and steps to ascertain if there was misconduct in accor-
dance with the law, something that needs to be inves-
tigated as matter of urgency."
Ramlogan stressed: "This matter sets a most dan-
gerous precedent for a country as it (ingestion) is a
known medium and method of transporting drugs---
for people to ingest it, whether they put in a condom
and dip it in honey and swallow it, or use it as a sup-
Ramlogan said he could not accept that concern
about reprisals, which may have occurred after Dana
Seetahal s May murder, was ample justification for
what happened in the situation. He said that sort of
excuse would result in collapse of law and order and
disintegration of society.
Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
POST YOUR VIEWS ON ANY OF TODAY'S STORIES @ WWW.GUARDIAN.CO.TT
Friday, October 31, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 30TH OCTOBER, 2014
Behavioural analyst Shannon Eidman, right, from Irish Autism Action Group, tries her hand at drumming with children from the
Servol's special needs school, during Digicel (T&T) Ltd's media launch of a special needs therapy-based education programme at
Calvary Hill, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. PHOTO: JEFF MAYERS
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan will
ask the acting Commissioner of Police to
continue investigations into the case of a
private nursing home patient who had 20
cocaine pellets removed from his stomach,
despite the recent revelation that no charges
can be laid against the doctor who failed
to report the incident to police, or against
anyone else involved.
Speaking at yesterday s weekly government
press conference at the Prime Minister s
Office, St Clair, Ramlogan added: "I find it
an entirely unsatisfactory and unacceptable
state of affairs that such an event could have
"So I would ask the Commissioner of Police
to continue the investigations with the advice
they had received from the Director of Pub-
lic Prosecutions but not allow T&T to become
a laughing stock because that is exactly the
kind of absurdity it would result in."
The patient, 34, from Arouca reportedly
swallowed the cocaine pellets in a bid to
smuggle the narcotic and was taken for treat-
ment at the hospital after experiencing stom-
The drugs were removed during surgery
and the man was later transferred to the Mt
Hope Medical Complex.
Acting Police Commissioner Stephen
Williams said on Wednesday the matter had
been investigated thoroughly and the decision
against laying charges was made on the advice
of deputy Director of Public Prosecutions
Kathy Ann Waterman-Latchoo.
Williams said there was no evidence which
could be used to pursue prosecution against
surgeon or patient.
But Ramlogan said yesterday if a doctor
used the doctor-patient confidentiality pro-
vision as a shield for a criminal situation,
that must be a cause for concern not just for
citizens, but also for the law.
Ramlogan said his understanding of the
law was that doctors were obliged to report
criminal offences and that was well under-
stood, whether it was a case of a child rape
incident or the physical abuse of a child or
whether cocaine was removed from some-
one s stomach.
In such situations, professional responsi-
bility involved informing the police and retain-
ing possession of the foreign substance/par-
ticles/bags of whatever was removed, for due
process to take its course, he said.
He asked: "There are many unanswered
questions in this matter, starting with the
patient entering the nursing home. What did
they do when they removed the foreign sub-
stance? What was the nature of the patient s
complaint; was there full and frank disclosure
made by the patient to the doctor on the
true, genuine purpose of what they were
seeking medical attention for, etc.
"And when it was removed and there was
clear grounds to suspect there was in fact,
illegal drugs digested with the intention to
be expelled and sold as part of drug trafficking,
if so, then surely the doctor and the nursing
home should have been red-flagging this
Ramlogan said the staff should have been
on high alert to notify the police so the patient
could immediately be arrested or watched,
not allowed to walk out of the nursing home.
"Instead," he added, "it would seem here,
there was a complete abdication of respon-
sibility and professional responsibility to duty
and responsibility in accordance with the
law, and I am gravely concerned and extremely
disturbed at what occurred. And we are now
being told no one can be held responsible,
far less culpable as a matter of law."
AG on cocaine surgery case:
Cops must reopen it
The day after the acting Police Commissioner
said no charges would be brought against the doctor
or patient involved in the removal of cocaine pellets
from a man s stomach last year, the pressure group,
Fixin T&T, is calling for the legal advice given to
the police to be reviewed.
Acting CoP Stephen Williams said the police had
been advised by deputy Director of Public Prose-
cutions Kathy Ann Waterman-Latchoo.
In an open letter to the CoP yesterday, the group
wrote "it is at odds with opinions in law of both
the late Dana Seetahal, SC, and the United King-
dom-based Medical Protection Society (MPS). Further
we seek to ascertain if said advice was verbal or
During the weekly police media briefing on
Wednesday, Williams said there was no evidence
which could be used to prosecute either the surgeon
or the patient. This was although interviews were
recorded with the doctor, patient, nurses and other
Fixin T&T is also urging the Police Complaints
Authority (PCA) to review the investigation by the
police. The PCA currently has no director, as its for-
mer head, Gillian Lucky, is now a High Court judge.
Fixin T&T said neither the doctor nor the hospital
(both named in the release) had denied allegations
that cocaine pellets had been removed during an
emergency operation there.
Fixin' T&T calls
for review of
The Office of the Attorney General represents
the Office of the President on official matters of
state and not personal matters, Attorney
General Anand Ramlogan said yesterday.
Asked about the issue of a pre-action protocol
letter sent to comedienne Rachel Price from the
Office of the President on comments Price
reportedly made about the President's wife,
Ramlogan said the Office of the President could
seek advice from the Solicitor General, in the
Attorney General's Ministry, who is the State's
He said the AG's office does not pay legal bills
for legal advice sought outside of this
arrangement, which the Constitution and
PRESIDENT LAWSUIT A PRIVATE MATTER
Contacted yesterday about the findings of
the investigation, Williams refused to divulge
any information. He reiterated that charges
could not be brought against anyone as none
of the pellets allegedly removed had been
recovered, hence there was no sample to test
to confirm they were in fact cocaine pellets.
Williams said in that circumstance, the
police were not able to charge anyone on the
basis of suspicions.
Waterman-Latchoo could not be reached
yesterday as calls to her cellphone went
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