Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 23rd 2016 Contents A5
Saturday, July 23, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Late former prime minister Patrick
Manning will be forever remembered
for his powerful example of leadership
and solidarity within T&T and through-
out Latin America, US President Barack
Obama has said.
Obama made the comment in a con-
dolence letter to Manning s family, which
was posted on Manning s still active
Facebook page yesterday.
Manning died on July 2 at age 69 after
being diagnosed with Acute Myeloid
Leukemia, a rare, aggressive cancer, on
June 30 at the San Fernando General
Hospital. He was laid to rest on July 9
after a state funeral.
In a letter dated July 11 to Manning s
wife Hazel, Obama stated: "On behalf
of the American people, I extend my
deepest condolences on your husband s
passing. Prime Minister Manning was
guided by his commitment to strength-
ening T&T in our time and for gener-
ations to come.
"Through his service, he endeavoured
to express possibility in the lives of his
fellow citizens and in so doing, he helped
change the life of his country. His legacy
will live on and for his powerful example
of leadership and solidarity -
T&T and throughout Latin America -
he will be forever remembered.
"At this difficult time, please know
Michelle and I are keeping you, Brian
and David in our thoughts."
Obama also singed the letter.
Obama had met Manning in 2009
when T&T hosted the Summit of the
Americas - one of Manning s pioneering
initiatives. This involved North, South
and Central (Latin) American leaders.
The Summit, which "introduced"
Obama to his hemispheric colleague
leaders, was one of his first engagements
soon after assuming the US Presidency.
It was seen as historic for the new plank
of elevation Obama sought to introduce
concerning US/Cuba relations particu-
larly, and his statement that the US was
seeking a new beginning with Cuba fol-
lowing decades of a US embargo against
Cuba and frosty relations with Venezuela.
Family sources yesterday confirmed
a service will be held in San Fernando
on August 12 to mark the 40-day period
after Manning s death.
Meanwhile, Minister in the Office of
the PM Stuart Young said queries on
the Manning family s rejection of the
offer of the Order of the Republic T&T
for Manning were not addressed at
Thursday s post-Cabinet press confer-
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley had
said last weekend that he would recom-
mend the ORTT for Manning in upcom-
ing August 31 Independence awards. But
the Manning family instead reiterated
that the best way to honour Manning s
life would be the re-establishment and
expansion of the Divine Echoes Orchestra
initiative and establishment of the Patrick
Manning Development Fund at the Inter-
national Finance Centre.
Both Manning and Basdeo Panday
refused the ORTT in 2014 after then
prime minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar
recommended they receive it.
Approximately 1,300 prisoners in remand are
now being considered for bail by the State from
In light of this new development, due to the failure
of the Opposition to support the Government s recent
move to extend the Bail Amendment Bill, Attorney
General Faris Al-Rawi yesterday admitted that the
release of these prisoners, who are facing charges of
kidnapping for ransom, could be a security risk to
the country. However, he assured that security forces
will be out in full force to deal with whatever comes
as a result of this situation.
Al-Rawi broke the news at a press conference at
the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Port-of-Spain, saying the
Opposition s decision to blank the Bail Bill extension
means he will now have to make certain amendments
to the Bail Act.
He said the judiciary will be put on high alert to
deal with the applications which will now come
before magistrates and judges for access to bail.
But as Government considers the amendment to
the Bail Act, Al-Rawi said they would not approach
Parliament since he believed the judiciary process
was the key factor.
"So working with the Chief Justice and their team...
to get the judiciary ready to hear the applications
which will come when the law sets for the bail amend-
ments and for the anti-gang was of immediate priority.
I have spoken to the Chief Justice and I have alerted
him, obviously he would be aware as to the situation.
You also have to deal from a judicial perspective with
how judges deal with the issue of bail," Al-Rawi said.
"On August 15, 2016 we are going to see the sun
set on the anti-gang legislation and also the 22 years
of amendments which happened on the bail law of
Trinidad and Tobago. That means that the statistical
appreciation of who will be approaching the court
of T&T for release, in some cases immediate release,
if they are incarcerated for only anti-gang matters
and for access to bail, if it is the situation in which
they were denied bail for 120 days or with trials start-
ing within one year of the 120 days."
He said when August 15 comes, the country will
not to be "caught entirely ill-prepared."
The AG said there are 2,300 individuals incarcerated
in remand, of which 1,000 are facing murder charges
and not entitled to bail.
"1,300 of them are entitled to be considered for
bail. Roughly 650...680 of them have been granted
bail, but are still in remand because they cannot
access bail because the stricture of bail is too tight."
To get bail you must have a surety and land, he
"What we are doing is factoring the access to bail
for the 600-odd people who are in jail, granted bail,
but cannot get out of the system. That is being worked
alongside the electronic monitoring capability...the
bracelets. Again, that law was passed in 2011 or 2012
and it was not operationalised."
Al-Rawi said in default of the passage of the law,
the Government must prepare a system to process
the several hundred applications, which he said is
going to be "a big event for the country."
Al-Rawi said the 600-plus prisoners who were
granted bail have been waiting years to be processed.
Asked if allowing these prisoners to be released would
cause a security concern, Al-Rawi said, "There is a
capacity concern and obviously there is a security
concern, yes. There would obviously be a concern
AG prepares for result of bail bill lapse
may walk free
Obama pays tribute
to Patrick Manning
which can be met by being ready."
He said the security forces would also have to be
ready with an operational surveillance mechanism
and Government was prepared to deal with the con-
Asked if the judiciary hold off on going on vacation
to deal with the granting of bail to the prisoners, Al-
Rawi said the magistracy does not have that problem
but the High Court will.
Flashback... US president Barack Obama greets then Prime Minister Patrick
Manning at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann's, during an event at the Fifth Summit
of the Americas in 2009. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
NO ELECTRONIC BRACELETS
The electronic bracelets to monitor released
prisoners, Al-Rawi said, are yet to be
purchased and need to be operationalised with
a telecommunications network and a security
responding team to deal with those try to go
beyond the distance stipulated.
Al-Rawi said it would take the Government
several months before this system comes on
"It is a mechanism we can use to help the
criminal justice system by giving conditional
releases for prisoners who are on pre-trial
detention who are appropriate for release."
The AG said while this exercise with the
judiciary, Commissioner of Prisons,
Commissioner of Police and Director of Public
Prosecutions was ongoing and giving
assistance, they need more time to appreciate
what was going to happen.
"The submission to the country is not only
that justice delayed is justice denied...justice
delayed is extremely expensive from the
taxpayers and family perspective as well,
because of the rights of the victim and the
rights of the accused. The impacts upon their
families must be considered as well."
Al-Rawi said, however, that T&T was not
able to access the effectiveness of anti-gang
law because nothing was done in the last five
years. He said consultation on the bail
legislation was still underway.
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