Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 2nd 2015 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, February 2, 2015
The first evidence hearing for the Com-
mission of Enquiry into the Las Alturas
housing project has been postponed
because of insufficient witness statements
This was confirmed yesterday by the Jus-
tice of Appeal Mustapha Ibrahim, chairman
of the Commission.
This hearing that was scheduled to begin
"When the parties appeared before me
last week, some of the witnesses were either
out of the country or could not be found,"
Ibrahim stated that there were numerous
parties involved in the matter, each of whom
need to have witness testimonies.
Ibrahim said the Commission decided to
postpone the hearing to an undetermined
day untill all witnesses could be accounted.
"We could not start the hearing of the
Commission until we have the statuses in,
so that we could have a global understanding
instead of a partial one," Ibrahim said.
On January 26, the Commission held its
procedural hearing at the Caribbean Court
of Justice, Henry Street, Port-of-Spain.
The Housing Development Corporation
(HDC) and the Urban Development Cor-
poration of T&T (Udecott) are to be listed
as parties to the proceedings.
Ibrahim said then to be "party to the pro-
ceedings" meant that such a person was
entitled to an audience before the commis-
sion, to examine and cross-examine wit-
nesses, and make submissions.
Both sets of attorneys said at that hearing
that their clients intended to co-operate
with the commission, while Martin Andrews
of Geotech Associates Ltd and Ian Telfer of
C E Management and Services Ltd also con-
firmed their willingness to participate in
Other invited to attend that hearing
included Geotech Associates Ltd, C E Man-
agement and Services Ltd (CEMAS), S
Kistow Engineering Services, and Planning
Associates Ltd (PAL).
Pamela Elder, SC, and Jagdeo Singh,
instructed by Alvin Pariagsingh are repre-
senting the commission. Vincent Nelson,
QC, and Larry Lalla are representing the
HDC, while Katherine Denbow appeared
on behalf of Udecott.
This Commission of Enquiry was set
up to determine if the Housing
Development Corporation (HDC), the
Urban Development Corporation of T&T
(Udecott) and the Ministry of Housing
were at fault while constructing the
Las Alturas Towers located in Lady
Young Gardens, Morvant.
Two multi-storey units of the Las
Alturas housing project were severly
damaged after construction. The
towers, valued at $26 million, had to be
According to the terms of reference
which sets out the areas of enquiry the
three-member commission is expected
to conduct into the project, the
commission is expected to enquire into
"the entire process which led to the
construction of the Las Alturas towers
at Lady Young Gardens, Morvant, and
all other acts, matters or decisions
done or undertaken incidental to and
including the construction" of the
In September, Prime Minister Kamla
Persad-Bissessar announced a
commission of enquiry into the
construction of Las Alturas housing
project, after raising concerns about
the two towers valued $26 million,
which had to be demolished. Persad-
Bissessar said Dr Keith Rowley, who
was a former housing minister under
the PNM, as well as Emily Gaynor Dick-
Forde, who succeeded him, have
distanced themselves from blame.
Rowley has welcomed the probe, but
said it would be another waste of
millions of taxpayers' dollars.
ABOUT THE ENQUIRY
charge of Coast Guard
The Coast Guard has a new commanding offi-
Hayden Pritchard assumed the role on January 23,
with a Change of Command Parade and ceremony
at the Naval headquarters, Staubles Bay, Chaguaramas,
a release from the Coast Guard said.
Pritchard is the 12th Commanding Officer of the
Coast Guard since its commissioning in August 1962.
Pritchard is succeeding Commanding Officer Captain
Mark Williams as the Commanding Officer of the
Coast Guard, it said.
Williams made history by joining his father Com-
modore Mervyn Williams, the first local Commanding
Officer of the Coast Guard. They are the only father
and son team to serve as Commanding Officer of
the Coast Guard, the statement said.
Williams, who will now be known as the former
Commanding Officer, handed over the ceremonial
telescope, the naval symbol of command to Pritchard,
Keep your Saturday, Sunday and
today s newspapers and tune into Crime
Watch live from 6 pm, on CNC3, for the
There will be one draw and one winning
number with a jackpot worth at least $500
cash. If the number drawn matches the
mask number on the back of your Saturday,
Sunday or today s newspapers then you
win today s prize.
The Carnival Cash winning number for
Friday was 262686. If the number on the
back of your Friday s paper was 262686
you have won the prize of $7,500.
You now have until 3 pm today to come
to the T&T Guardian head office, 22-24,
St Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain, with
your copy of the newspaper (complete
newspaper) containing the winning mask
at the back and a photo identification.
Insufficient witness statements filed
Las Alturas enquiry postponed
Justice of Appeal Mustapha Ibrahim,
chairman of the Commission of Enquiry
into the Las Alturas housing project.
Carnival Cash promo prize now worth $7,500
New Coast Guard Commander Hayden Pritchard.
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