Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 23rd 2016 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
Thursday, June 23, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
JENSEN LA VENDE
Secretary of the Police Service Social
and Welfare Association, Insp Michael
Seales, was granted $75,000 bail at the
Port-of-Spain Magistrates Court yesterday
afternoon after he appeared charged with
making a seditious statement on June 24
Seales, who is currently contesting the
presidency in the body s upcoming election,
appeared before Chief Magistrate Marcia
Ayers-Caesar and was represented by Pamela
Elder, SC, and Owen Hinds.
Elder informed the court Seales was a
serving member of the T&T Police Service
and as such had an unblemished record. She
added that during his 28-year career he had
received many commendations, including
from the US Department of Justice.
Seales was arrested on a warrant at the
association s Besson Street Police Station
office. The arrest warrant carried with it
$75,000 bail with surety.
His wife, Nicole Hospedales, was allowed
to be used as his surety after the Chief Mag-
istrate informed her of the seriousness of
her vow to ensure both she and Seales attend
court on every occasion the matter was
called. Ayers-Caesar then adjourned the
matter to July 20.
Seales was supported in court by
Hospedales and association members, Insp
Anand Ramesar and Insp Ian Carty.
He has been on suspension since June
last year. It would have expired tomorrow
and elections three days later.
It is alleged that Seales made the seditious
statement on June 24 last year during a live
interview on TV6 Morning Edition.
He had claimed there was then an alleged
plot by the People s Partnership government
to frustrate the Police Service to react in
such a way that there would be a need for
a state of emergency, thereby stalling the
September 7 general election.
Seales made the comment during the
heightened wage negotiations and was sus-
pended the following day by acting Police
Commissioner Stephen Williams.
In a release then, Williams said he made
the decision "as a result of an allegation of
Speaking outside the courthouse yesterday,
incumbent president of the association,
Ramesar, said he stood in solidarity with his
"Having spoken to the membership, the
view is that Michael is going to be the next
president of the Police Association," Ramesar
"He has the backing of the police and let
the authorities know, we will be supporting
him all the way and we have full faith in the
legal system and that he will be exonerated
from these allegations.
"This is just a small hiccup in the path
and we are still of full faith that it will change
nothing for next week s elections," he added.
After being held by warrant for alleged sedition...
$75,000 bail for top cop
A La Romaine truck driver was crushed
to death yesterday when the dump truck
he was driving plunged off a precipice in
an area which has been plagued by acci-
Seoudass Sooknanan, 51, of La Fortune
Road, Woodland, was killed instantly when
the Nissan CK20 truck loaded with gravel
overturned on impact along Murray Trace,
Police said around 2 pm Sooknanan was
driving up a hill which had been damaged
by a landslip several years ago, thereby
allowing only one lane of traffic.
While attempting to enter the one lane
area of the roadway, residents said he was
"rushed by a car" and while trying to
reverse to allow the car to pass his gear
failed, causing the truck to roll off the edge.
Two villagers quickly ran to help but the
cab was so badly damaged that he was
A backhoe from the Siparia Regional
Corporation had to turn the truck over
before Siparia firefighters could remove
Paramedics were on standby but he was
already dead by the time he was removed
from the wreckage.
Sooknanan s wife, Shanti, was too dis-
SUV being sold by
The controversial luxury Porsche Cayenne
vehicle once used by former People s Partnership
food production minister Vasant Bharath for
ministerial duties is now up for sale.
In 2010, Bharath s ministry paid $400,000 for
the blue SUV, licensed PCR 100. Its original price
was estimated at $925,000 but vehicles purchased
by ministries and government agencies are exempt
from taxes and duties.
An advertisement published in today s news-
paper by the Ministry of Finance s Central Tenders
Board invites offers for the purchase of the high-
A source at the ministry yesterday said Agri-
culture Minister Clarence Rambharat had not
used vehicle since entering office and it was now
gathering dust at the ministry and depreciating
in value. Rambharat uses a Land Cruiser to con-
duct ministry business.
The Porsche was recently taken for evaluation
by the ministry and in the advertisement it asks
interested parties to either view the vehicle at
the ministry s St Clair office from Monday to
Friday or send sealed bids to the Central Tenders
Board by July 14.
Yesterday, well-known auctioneer, Edward
Soon, said the six-year-old vehicle could fetch
"around $400,000 or upward of that figure. I
believe the Government would get back the money
they would have put out to buy the vehicle."
Soon said vehicles used by government min-
isters were usually kept in mint condition.
In January 2012, when news of vehicle s pur-
chase surfaced, Bharath defended the $400,000
price, saying it was not for his private use, nor
extravagant and that it fell well within the average
price range for ministerial vehicles. However, the
purchase was condemned by then Opposition
Leader Dr Keith Rowley.
Within one month of defending the purchase,
another vehicle driven by Bharath reportedly ran
over the foot of pedestrian Marlene Williams in
a hit-and-run accident along Maraval Road, Port-
Bharath who showed up at the St Clair Police
Station in the PCR 100 to report the matter,
agreed to pay compensation to Williams and
settle the matter out of court.
In April, Rowley said Cabinet had decided that
none of its members would access any loan to
buy a luxury vehicle which fell in the new
increased tax bracket.
Rowley s announcement came immediately
following Finance Minister Colm Imbert s 50 per
cent increase in taxes on luxury vehicles with
engines over 1999cc in a series of sweeping tax
Efforts to reach Bharath on his cellphone was
Driver killed as truck plunges off precipice
traught to speak, looking away as undertakers
removed his body from the bushes.
His employer, Deonarine Mohan, of DM and Sons
Ltd, said Sooknanan was on his way to Rancho
Quemado to deliver a load to a Petrotrin site. He
said Sooknanan worked part time with him for
years and had recently come back a few days ago.
Accident victim Seoudass Sooknanan's
wife, Shanti, is comforted by a family
member at the scene of the accident in
PHOTOS: TONY HOWELL
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