Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 22nd 2015 Contents Opposition Leader Dr Keith
Rowley has called on churches
to play their role in ensuring
accountability and good gover-
nance from politicians.
Referring to the government s
$55 million donation to churches,
Rowley said there must be proper
accountability when money was
spent on churches.
Speaking at the PNM s Spiritual
Shouter Baptist Liberation cele-
brations in Moruga yesterday,
Rowley acknowledged the need
for the Government to assist
churches, but said, "we have to
have proper systems of account-
ability when we spend state
resources in churches." Otherwise,
he warned, it paved the way for
He added, "When I see $55 mil-
lion suddenly available to the
church...Is this a gift or is this a
bribe? I ask the recipients, what
is your role in ensuring that T&T
has good governance and proper
He said if money could be spent
in that way without a proper sys-
tem of accountability, at the end
of the day everyone would be held
responsible for the abuse of
"opportunities given to us."
During the celebrations at Gran
Chemin Recreation Ground, Row-
ley and some the PNM s candi-
dates in the upcoming general
election were anointed with oil
and blessed by spiritual leaders.---
March 22, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Former Udecott executive chair-
man Calder Hart remains out of
the reach of T&T police, even as
the near five-year-old criminal
investigation into his alleged finan-
cial misdeeds remains active.
Investigators said the probe was
being constrained by delays in the
handing over of documents and wit-
ness statements from US authorities.
Police sources said Hart was in
Florida, but there was nothing the
police could do at this point to extra-
dite him to Trinidad, especially since
investigators were still waiting for
witness statements to review before
They indicated that the Central
Authority, which is under the Attor-
ney General s office, is working with
investigators on the matter.
When contacted about the status
of the investigation, Attorney Gen-
eral Garvin Nicholas said he could
not give any update as the matter
was being handled by the police. He
was unable to say if investigators
had sought his office s assistance by
way of government-to-government
agreements to retrieve documents
and witness statements.
He said he would have to check
with the personnel at his office when
he returned to T&T next week.
Nicholas is leaving T&T today to
attend a law conference in the UK
and is expected back on Wednesday.
Yesterday, acting Commissioner
of Police Stephen Williams could
shed no light on the progress of the
investigation into alleged corruption
He said Deputy Commissioner of
Police Harold Phillip was heading
the Hart investigation and he had
not asked him for an update.
Williams said he would update
the nation on all outstanding inves-
"I am in the process of doing a
list of all outstanding investigations,
including the Calder Hart investi-
gation, and I will update the nation
through the media," he said.
On Friday, Hart s name came up
in the Commission of Enquiry into
the failed Las Alturas project as a
necessary witness in the hearing.
Udecott s lawyer Faydia Mohammed
said attempts were being made to
contact the former executive chair-
man to have him appear in the CoE.
Hart was the executive chairman at
the time the multi-million dollar
housing project at Lady Young Road,
Morvant, was under construction.
Moonilal, when contacted about
the delay in the investigation, said
via text message, "It is a pity that
Hart cannot present himself at the
CoE to explain himself in the debacle
of Las Alturas."
In 2010, Hart suddenly resigned
from Udecott after allegations sur-
faced that he had direct family ties
with two directors of Malaysian firm
Sunway Construction Caribbean Ltd,
which had worked on Udecott s $820
million Ministry of Legal Affairs
Director of Public Prosecutions
(DPP) Roger Gaspard had, in 2010,
ordered a police probe into allega-
tions of wrongdoing by the former
When contacted yesterday, DCP
Phillip declined to provide details
on the investigation. He said he could
not speak about any moves to extra-
dite Hart from the US.
"We have not reached that stage
yet. You have to have evidence before
you draft those documents, you have
to complete it, and you have to get
advice from the DPP and so on. We
are still working on it, we are still
investigating it," Phillip said.
Sunday Guardian understands
that US authorities have been inter-
viewing witnesses connected to the
Hart investigation and local inves-
tigators are awaiting those docu-
ments to make an assessment of
how to proceed with the case.
"We cannot talk extradition with-
out evidence. It is when you inter-
view all the witnesses then you could
make an assessment, so we are still
in evidence gathering, so we are still
interviewing witnesses. It is active,"
Apart from the criminal inves-
tigation into corruption allegations,
Hart is also facing this country s first
civil fraud case which was filed by
former attorney general Anand Ram-
The $100 million lawsuit is in con-
nection with the incomplete Brian
Lara Tarouba Stadium and Hart s
close connection to the contractor
When three gunmen stormed a bar
in Princes Town and shot a patron,
the owner fired back with his licensed
firearm, fatally wounding one of the
The dead man was identified as
Shaka James, 31, of Greenhill, Toradale.
Police said James accomplices bun-
dled him into a getaway car and
dropped him off at his home where
his relatives called the ambulance.
However, James was pronounced
dead on arrival at the San Fernando
It was around 9.15 pm on Friday
when the three robbers stormed into
Rainbow Recreation Club, Garth Road.
There was a large crowd liming outside
and some patrons were gambling inside
the bar where there is a roulette game
and seven slot machines.
When T&T Guardian visited the bar
yesterday, owner Ramdeep Ramsahai,
69, was too traumatised to speak.
However, his son Ryan, 28, said the
robbers shot a patron who was liming
outside the bar on his leg and then
dragged him inside the bar.
Ryan said the other patrons were
ordered to lie on the floor and robbed
of their phones and money. One patron
was robbed of $7,000. Ryan said it
was the first time since the bar s 27
years in existence that they had been
robbed. "But I expected this. I get a
message since before Christmas that
this was coming."
He said he, his mother Dora, 59,
and brother Khemraj, 23, were in the
bar when they heard the shots fired
by the robbers.
He said his mother shouted "bandit"
and switched off the electrical breaker.
"When the electricity gone, she ran
down the steps and notified my dad
who was home and my dad got his
Ryan said his dad then went to
another door where he had full view
of the front door of the businessplace.
Ryan then ran to the kitchen area
near the bar. "I pull the curtain and
the bandit (who was subsequently
shot) see me. I did that to draw his
attention." Ryan said he then turned
the electricity back on and the robber
ran out the front door. He said that
was when his father fired at the robber
who returned fire.
Ryan said when the robber was shot,
he fell to the ground, whilst one of
the other robbers ran down the road,
came back with a Silva Tiida car and
the other robber helped his injured
accomplice into the car. The car sped
off.Ryan advised anyone with a business
to be prepared and put precautionary
measures in place in the event of a
Princes Town robber
killed by bar owner
Hart still out of police reach
...witness statements, documents needed from US authorities
...businessman shoots gunman who puts patrons under siege
Rowley asks churches to be accountable
Political leader of the PNM Dr Keith Rowley receives a blessing with
oil from Rev Mother Yvette Adams during the party's Spiritual
Shouter Baptist Liberation celebrations at the Gran Chemin
Recreation Ground, Moruga, yesterday. PHOTO: TONY HOWELL
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