Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 31st 2015 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, January 31, 2015
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A State attorney from the Office of the
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is
to be appointed to prosecute Assistant
Commissioner of Police (ACP) Peter Reyes
on allegations of endangering the lives of
the passengers and crew aboard a domestic
flight by failing to switch off his cellphone.
Reyes, who has more than 37 years service
as a police officer, appeared in the Arima
Magistrate s Court yesterday to answer three
charges arising out of an incident which
allegedly took place last month on the run-
way of the Piarco International Airport.
Reyes, 57, of Mausica Lands, Arima, was
escorted to the court by Deputy Commis-
sioner of Police (DCP) Glen Hackett, hours
after the charges were laid on him at the
Central Police Station, Port-of-Spain, yes-
In an unusual move Hackett, the lead
investigator of the allegations against Reyes,
stood alongside his colleague in the prisoner
enclosure of the Arima Second Court as the
charges were being read by Magistrate Deb-
"Not guilty, ma am," Reyes, who was
dressed in a short sleeved shirt and grey
jeans said in loud tone which echoed
throughout the court.
The charges, which fall under Section 60
(1) of the Civil Aviation Act, are for threat-
ening the safety of the aircraft and passen-
gers on board; using abusive and insulting
language towards a crew member and for
intentionally interfering with crew members
in the execution of their duties.
All three carry a maximum fine of $25,000
and up to a year imprisonment.
In a public statement, which followed the
incident, Reyes denied any wrongdoing and
claimed he was victimised because he was
Reyes, who was on his was to take up
duties as head of the Tobago Division when
the incident last December 18, was transfered
to the Community Relations Unit.
In his plea for bail, Reyes lawyer Lyndon
Leu said his client had a sterling record dur-
ing his long career.
"He is well known by all ranks, from the
Police Commissioner to constables," Leu
Bassaw granted Reyes $30,000 bail with
a surety and also gave him a cash alternative
House Speaker Wade Mark has said the
error he made in last Friday s motion by Jack
Warner was made through inadvertence only
but stressed Warner was the one who chose
not to proceed with debate on his own motion.
Mark made the points in a statement to Par-
liament yesterday explaining the error he made
in statements he delivered at the start of last
Friday s debate on Warner s motion.
The motion raised the issue of the conduct
of the Minister of Finance and the Economy
in his former capacity as Chief Executive Officer
of First Citizen s Bank (FCB) during 2006 to
2009 at a time when the First Citizen s Bank
granted a loan to Carlton Savannah Limited
(now in receivership) for the construction of a
Mark explained a mix up had occurred with
legal documents sent to him by Howai. He
added he never meant to mislead the House
and assured the error would not be repeated.
After Mark completed his statement yesterday
Warner packed up his belongings and walked
out of Parliament again in protest. He said the
Speaker should recuse himself on the censure
motion and also had a no-confidence motion
Mark said he had received Warner s motion
on December 30, 2014 and approved it on Jan-
uary 5, 2015. It qualified for debate on January
12, 2015 and arose for debate on January 23.
Mark said he received for his information a
letter from Howai on January 22 which enclosed
copies of legal documents served on the Sun-
shine newspaper regarding allegations made,
concerning a loan granted to Carlton Savannah
Limited. Copies of the documents were dis-
tributed to all MPs.
Mark said: "A perusal of the claim form and
statement of case revealed both the legal pro-
ceedings and the motion before the House con-
cerned the conduct of the Minister of Finance
in his former capacity as CEO of FCB at the
time that FCB granted a loan to Carlton Savan-
"Accordingly, having received notification of
these legal proceedings, it became apparent to
me that consideration would have to be given
to the application of the sub judice rule when
the motion came up for debate.
"The sub judice rule is a discretionary restraint
imposed by the House itself on the absolute
privilege of freedom of speech of its members.
"This is because of the need for comity
between the Judiciary and the Legislature, and
the Legislature s commitment to not adversely
affect legal proceedings or to be seen to be
determining disputes when that is the sole pre-
serve of the Judiciary.
"Neither the Standing Orders of the House
of Representative nor parliamentary practice
limit the application of the sub judice rule to
criminal proceedings only.
"The rule is to be applied on a case-by-case
basis, considering the nature of the debate
before the House, the nature of the related legal
proceedings and the relevant Standing Order."
Mark added: "As a consequence honourable
members, I felt it necessary that before debate
on the motion began, I should bring to the
attention of the mover of the motion and of
the House that legal proceedings related to the
subject matter of the motion had commenced
in the High Court and that a consideration of
the sub judice rule arose as a consequence.
"I indicated I had received only a few hours
before the start of that sitting a notice from
the High Court of the Republic of Trinidad
and Tobago, dated 16th January, 2015, con-
cerning a matter involving Larry Howai and
Azad Ali of the Sunshine Publishing Company
"That was clearly incorrect and I assure this
Honourable House that error was through inad-
"It was my intention to say that I had received
notification of a matter involving Larry Howai
and Azad Ali which had been filed on 16th Jan-
uary, 2015, the date of the official stamp of the
High Court on both the Claim Form and State-
ment of Case.
Mark added: "I sincerely regret the embar-
rassment to the Judiciary as my statement
would have incorrectly conveyed the impression
that the Judiciary had on its own volition notified
me of a matter before it."
Mark said he wrote the Chief Justice on Jan-
uary 26 expressing his regret and assuring him
of the mutual respect and comity which exists
between the Parliament and the Judiciary. He
said the Chief Justice acknowledged receipt on
He added: "I also sincerely regret that through
my error it may have appeared that I wilfully
misled this Honourable House and for that I
most respectfully apologise. I assure all hon-
ourable members that I never intended to mis-
lead this House."
He added: " I wish to ask honourable mem-
bers to note that after I brought to the attention
of the House the existence of the said legal
proceedings, in exercise of my discretion as the
presiding officer, I permitted debate on the
motion to commence.
"I didn t deny or shut down debate on the
motion. It was the mover of the motion who,
of his own volition, after he commenced his
contribution, decided not to proceed. The tran-
script of the proceedings of that sitting is evi-
dence of what transpired."
Mark apologises but says:
It was Warner who chose not to speak
Leu, who is appearing along with his wife Tristle
Khan-Leu, also requested that prosecutors quickly
disclose all evidence against his client, including wit-
ness statements, identification parade notes and tele-
Reyes will reappear in court on February 27.
Reyes in court on cellphone charges
Chaguanas West MP Jack Warner is embraced by members of the public outside the
Parliament where various groups protested yesterday. PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
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