Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 31st 2015 Contents YVONNE BABOOLAL
The T&T Chamber of Com-
merce is not keen on supporting
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar s plan to establish a
commission of enquiry into the
criminal justice system.
The Chamber is calling, instead,
for "the implementation of proven
and tested results-based security
measures" like body scanners, cell-
phone jammers and grabbers.
In a statement yesterday, the
chamber said investment of
resources in longer-term initia-
tives, such as commissions of
enquiry, yields lower returns.
Persad-Bissessar announced her
Government s intention to set up
a commission of enquiry into the
criminal justice system shortly
after a prison break in which police
officer Sherman Maynard was shot
The chamber s concerned call
comes in the wake of what it said
were "several disturbing images
currently in circulation on social
It said: "While we remain
uncertain of the source of the pho-
tographs, the images, nevertheless,
portray inmates in possession of
what appears to be arms, illegal
substances and other contraband."
About the images which
appeared on social media after the
incident of prisoners escape, the
"If these images are authentic
and were captured using cellular
phones from inside the prison, the
T&T Chamber condemns the
breach of security in the strongest
"Such a breach points not only
to corrupt practices but represents
a direct threat to national security."
The chamber said it has been
frontline among voices in the
national community, advocating
the introduction of electronic
equipment for use in the daily
operations of the prisons.
The chamber said it was heart-
ened by Justice Minister Prakash
Ramadhar s recent announce-
ments that new arrangements
involving the use of electronic
equipment would be in operation
at the prisons within the next two
Friday, July 31, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Less than 24 hours after he was
arrested for assisting three prison-
ers during their daring escape from
the Port-of-Spain prison last Fri-
day, an Aranguez man was released
by police pending further investi-
According to reports, the 38-year-
old suspect was released from the
Central Police Station, St Vincent
Street, Port-of-Spain, yesterday after
he was questioned by police inves-
tigating the escape. Police sources
say the suspect may be re-arrested
as police reach further in their inves-
The suspect, who was being
sought by police hours after the
escape, was detained by Guard and
Emergency Branch officers at a
mosque in Enterprise, Chaguanas,
Police believe he may have assisted
the prisoners by providing the Nissan
Navara which they used as a getaway
Meanwhile, Christopher "Mon-
ster" Selby, the only surviving mem-
ber of the trio who committed the
well-orchestrated prison break, is
expected to be charged with several
offences related to the incident by
The T&T Guardian understands
that investigators visited the Office
of Director of Public Prosecutions
(DPP) yesterday to seek advice.
Police were said to be considering
charging Selby with the murder of
PC Sherman Maynard, who was shot
dead as the prisoners were making
their escape, as well as for escaping
lawful custody and for possession
of an explosive device---a hand
grenade---that was recovered outside
the Frederick Street prison. No
charges were laid up to late yester-
Selby, Hassan Atwell and Allan
"Scanny" Martin escaped from the
prison around midday last Friday.
Armed with firearms and a hand
grenade, the men reportedly shot at
a passing police patrol. PC Sherman
Maynard was struck twice and died
from his injuries.
The prisoners, who were on
remand for separate crimes, crashed
their getaway vehicle near the Port-
of-Spain General Hospital and
attempted to escape on foot.
Martin, one of 12 men on trial for
the murder of businesswoman Vin-
dra Naipaul-Coolman, was cornered
by police in a security guard booth
at the hospital.
He was killed in an exchange of
gunfire with police.
On Sunday, Atwell was found
murdered in East Dry River. Hours
later, Selby surrendered at the
Barataria Police Station. Investiga-
tions are continuing. See Page A7
After daring prison escape...
No charges for 'getaway man'
Chamber: Forget probe, bring on scanners
Principal of the St
of the University of
the West Indies
President, David A
Granger, when he
arrived at the Piarco
Granger is in T&T as
a guest of the
topping off and
deed handover of
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar last night said she does not
She made the comment in response
to a final question by panellist Isha
Wells during the leadership exchange
hosted by state-owned Caribbean New
Media Group (CNMG) at its Maraval
Road, Port-of-Spain studios.
The issue was raised by former
national security minister Jack Warner,
after he claimed the substance had
been found on the Phillipine, San Fer-
nando property of the PM in 2013.
The claim was subsequently corrob-
orated by the police and the matter in
still being investigated.
But as the debate was wrapping up
last night Wells, in her final question
asked the PM the direct question "PM
do you smoke marijuana."
"The answer is no, definitely no,"
Earlier, Persad-Bissessar said her
lawyers were taking note of the alle-
gations of corruption and otherwise
being made against her by Warner and
promised an avalanche of legal action
following the general elections.
She said all were free to make state-
ments as they wish now during the
election campaign because they were
seeking to make her Government look
bad. But she said she would not be
"distracted by those scandalous and
totally false allegations being made by
the gentleman (Jack Warner)."
"Right now, I was elected to run a
country, I am still doing that and I
have the mandate from the people to
so do until September 7," she said.
In response to another question on
the issue of corruption, the PM said,
"I would not say there is corruption
in the Government but there is cor-
ruption in the systems of Government
Persad-Bissessar said her five-year-
old PP Government had attempted to
deal with this in several ways. She said
one of the major changes was the pas-
sage of new procurement legislation,
adding many of the allegations of cor-
ruption related to issues of procure-
She said she was committed to either
a partial of full proclamation of the
new law as soon as possible.
Former Government minister and
radio-talk show host Dr Morgan Job,
political analyst Derek Ramsamooj
were the other panellists on the pro-
Job asked the PM what plans she
has to deal with the issue of corruption.
She said it would be addressed through
education and training.
"If you do not have that you will
have corrupt officials then who seek
to gain more than they need," she said,
adding legislative measures are also to
be used to address the issue of cor-
Last night s debate was arranged
after the T&T Debates Commission
could not schedule one of its two
national leadership debates in July, as
was desired by the PM.
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley
declined a CNMG invitation to par-
ticipate in last night s event, saying he
had given a commitment to the debates
proposed by the TTDC.
Citizens were also allowed to submit
their questions prior to the commence-
ment of the two-hour event.
PM: I don't smoke ganja
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