Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 15th 2016 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
Friday, January 15, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 14TH JANUARY, 2016
JENSEN LA VENDE
Sighs of vexation and disappointment filled the
Port-of-Spain Eighth Magistrate s Court yesterday
after court prosecutor Inspector Winston Dillon
objected to bail for six of his junior officers charged
with misbehaviour in public office and attempting
to pervert the course of public justice.
At least 15 police officers, not assigned to the court
or to the Court and Process Branch, flocked to the
courtroom before Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-
Caesar to listen to the case of six constables from
the Northern Division Task Force (NEDTF).
Relatives of the six men filled the benches in the
courtroom making it almost impossible for relatives
of other people accused of crimes to find a seat.
After the matter was adjourned to Monday and
the men told they had to spend the weekend in jail,
angry police officers stormed out of the courtroom
sucking their teeth, while relatives of the men were
seen crying as they made their way out of the court-
Attorney Vince Charles asked that special provision
be put in place so that the men do not intermingle
with the general prison population as the officers
would have caused some of the inmates to be placed
there through the execution of their duties.
Ayers-Caesar made note of the request and asked
Dillon to ensure that all be done to facilitate the
The men have been remanded in custody until
Monday as the Chief Magistrate mulls over the pos-
sibility of denying them their freedom for at least
In objecting to bail Dillon said the officers com-
mitted the alleged acts while in possession of their
service weapon and thereby breached the Amendment
to the Bail Act.
Charles, who represented five of the six accused
along with Wayne Sturge, argued that if the men
were to be denied bail a wrong message would be
sent to all police officers.
His argument was supported by Sterling John who
represented one of the six.
John added that the law did not specify if the
weapon had to be used or whether the accused could
merely have possession of the weapon but did not
use it during the commission of the offence.
He called on the prosecution to make it clear which
of the two instances the men fall within before bail
Charles added: "These men are serving members
of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service and we
owe them a debt of gratitude.
"They were on official police business and were
not on some criminal frolic with unlicensed firearms.
Every police here can t be working in fear that they
could be denied bail for 120 days if someone brings
an allegation against them. Their guns are legitimate
tools of their trade."
Charles said a wrong message would be sent to
police officers if the men were denied bail.
He said the officers could not leave their guns
lodged at the police stations before going out on
Charles attempted to submit a search warrant,
dated January 5, one of the days the men are alleged
to have misbehaved in office, but was told that it be
best kept for trial.
Yesterday s discourse was not the first since the
act became law in April last year.
In May last year, then attorney general Garvin
Nicholas said the law was clear in that anyone, with
licensed or unlicensed guns, who commits one of 14
offences while in possession of the gun shall be denied
bail for 120 days.
Nicholas said then: "If any person is charged with
committing a scheduled offence while having in their
possession a firearm, the Act applies. The Bail Act
has to be read in conjunction with Section 6 of the
Firearms Act Chapter 16:01."
Some of the offences which will deny someone
bail if they have a gun in their possession at the time
of the offence include buggery, rape, receiving stolen
goods, sex with a female under 14, perverting the
course of justice, robbery and arson.
It is the State s case that the officers --- Steve
Williams,35, of Heights of Guanapo Road, Arima;
Brandon Thompson, 25, of Seeyjagat Trace, Tumpuna
Road, Arima; Ronald Samuel, 32 of Duncan Trace,
San Juan: and Kevon Patrick, 30, of Kingdom Avenue
Bypasss Road, Arima, misbehaved in office by threat-
ening to charge falsely Mary Duncan, Peabo Duncan
and Kimberly James for possession of cocaine.
The officers are also alleged to have falsely impris-
oned and held against their will the trio and Stephan
The officers also allegedly robbed Peabo Duncan
of $53,000 and $4,200 worth of jewelry. The offences
allegedly took place on January 5 at Kelly Village,
Williams, Ryan Grandison, 27, of Tunip Lane, La
Horquetta and Dion Ottley, 31, of Bon Air Gardens,
Arouca, are charged with threatening to charge falsely
Mark Rampersad, Farial Ramharrack and Lalieeta
Ramdawan for possession of cocaine, marijuana and
The officers were also charged with robbing Ram-
persad of $125,000 and $55,000 worth of jewellery.
All offences took place on December 12, 2015 at Fred-
erick Settlement, Caroni.
Ottley faced two separate charges of attempting
to pervert the course of justice in that he, on December
13, 2015, made a false entry into the station diary at
the NEDTF office at Santa Cruz which stated that
he and another officer found and seized six rounds
of .38 ammunition which was found in a red face
towel in a camouflage pants and they also seized 13
packets of cocaine.
The alleged find was made on December 12 accord-
ing to the station diary entry. The other charge is
that he, on December 12, 2015, was ordered to take
six round of ammunition to the Forensic Science
Centre, St James, but failed to do so and could give
no reasonable explanation why.
The officers were charged by PC Kelvin Marcano
and Cpl Greer Britton-Lawrence of the Professional
Standards Bureau, both of whom were chastised by
the Chief Magistrate fo their unprofessionalism in
failing to attend court or give a reasonable excuse.
6 cops jailed
No bail yet for misbehaviour charges
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Opposition Senator Wayne Sturge
wants the Integrity Commission to
investigate the behaviour of Attorney
General Faris Al-Rawi for his alleged
involvement in what Sturge deems a
questionable loan agreement between
HDC and Noel Garcia.
Sturge claims Garcia, who was man-
aging director of the Housing Develop-
ment Corporation (HDC) and is currently
the chairman of Udecott, was granted
a loan from the HDC.
At a news conference yesterday Sturge
produced documents which he claimed
were questionable transactions.
The transaction in 2007 involves a
loan request from Garcia to cover medical
expenses for his son, Christian. The
amount of the loan, $166,000, was
approved by the HDC. However, Sturge
claimed Al-Rawi reviewed and recom-
mended the loan and then sat at a sub-
sequent meeting to approve it.
"Al-Rawi, in the fourth board meeting
undertook to look at the documents,
look at the legislations and advise the
board on weather it should proceed and
how it should proceed to grant this loan
to offset medical expenses for Mr Garica.
"Having undertaken that task, Mr Al-
Rawi was duty bound to excuse himself
from the sixth meeting, which is the
meeting held where he advised the board
to accept his own advice, his own advice
in which he sat in a different capacity
on the sub-committee of the board on
legal matters," Sturge said.
A quote from the internal audit done
on the matter reads: "There are no doc-
uments to show a dispersement of
$166,000TTD to Noel Garcia. There
are, however, documents in the means
of two letters instructing Republic Bank
to wire transfer £30,000 and £5,000
respectively to Christian Garcia."
Sturge pointed to an excerpt of an
audit document of the HDC, saying it
was troubling the amount of money
transferred to Christian Garcia, the son
of Noel Garcia, was more than the
money approved by the loan. The trans-
fer of the account is more than
Responding to Sturge s allegations,
Al-Rawi said that matter was not a new
issue and it has been dealt with on a
number of occasions.
"This specific matter concerning Noel
Garcia is not a new matter to Trinidad
Sturge wants AG probed
over HDC loan to Garcia
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