Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 31st 2017 Contents A14 news
guardian.co.tt Friday, March 31, 2017
The State has been
ordered to pay more
than $1 million to two
Tobago vendors who
were freed by a Scarbor-
ough magistrate in 2011 after
spending a total of 418 days in
jail on a murder charge.
As he delivered his ruling in the malicious
prosecution matter, Justice James Aboud
was critical of the police investigation of
the matter which led to the arrests of Keron
Quamina and Malco Kent.
The claimants were represented by attor-
neys Rekha Ramjit and Alvin Pariagsingh.
Kent, whose real name is Malaku Kent, and Ker-
on Quamina were arrested on January 6, 2010 and
subsequently charged by PC Kurt Eastman with
the murder of Billy Caesar, 49, who was killed during
a robbery in Tobago in November 2008.
Kent said in his witness statement that he did not
know Quamina before his arrest and the first time he
spoke with him was in a cell at the Scarborough Mag-
Neither Kent nor Quamina were placed on identifi-
cation parades before they were charged. Both said the
police relied only on a statement given by a man who
had serious criminal matters pending in court.
Following a preliminary inquiry, a magistrate on February
28, 2011, upheld a no case submission and discharged them.
Aboud ordered that they each receive $325,000 in general
damages at five per cent interest, $45,000 in special dam-
ages at 2.5 per cent interest, plus $25,000 for Kent's legal
representation. The State also has
to pay prescribed costs.
A former government minis-
ter is calling on the government
to enforce the existing crime
fighting laws and introduce the
whistleblower legislation if it is
serious about fighting crime.
Speaking at a press conference
held at his San Fernando law cham-
bers, attorney Subhas Panday said the
Government must focus its attention on
catching criminals rather than abolish-
ing the preliminary inquiries.
Agreeing with the view of for-
mer attorney general Ramesh
Lawrence Maharaj SC on the
Government's actions in an at-
tempt to solve crime, Panday
said the complete removal of
the preliminary inquires will
shift the backlog from the
magistrates court to the high
court where the situation is
worse off than in the mag-
Panday added that the
legislation omits, however,
to address the police which
is an important player in
the process. "No timeta-
ble is placed on the police
to effectively and efficiently
conduct and complete their in-
vestigations, thereby creating a
significant delay at that stage."
Noting the low detection rate
of 12 to 15 per cent, he said the
legislation focuses on that small
percentage and does not address
the 85 per cent of criminals who
are free and are committing mur-
ders and terrorising people. In or-
der to effectively deal with crime, he
said Government should implement
the existing laws. "The DNA legislation
should be upgraded and the Forensic Sci-
ence Centre should be well resourced and
become more efficient. The Interception of the
Communication Act also should be immediately
implemented. It gives the police power to monitor
the conversations of the criminals
which is used as evidence against
them in the court providing cer-
tain requirements are fulfilled."
Additionally, he said the
Government should imme-
diately pass the whistle-
blowing legislation which
"Many persons wish to give
information to the police
but they afraid to do so because there is
no mechanism in place to protect whis-
Panday also suggested that a spe-
cial court be set up to deal specif-
ically with gun related offences.
Since guns are preferred weap-
on in committing murder and
serious offences, he said those
matters must be moved from
the main stream for indicta-
ble offences and have them fast
He said an accused must face
trial within six months after the
commission of the crime.
Rights of indigenous
UWI lecturer Gabrielle Hosein
believes that global capitalist
structures have trampled on the
rights of indigenous people across
the Caribbean region.
"We have reproduced the coloniza-
tion of Indigenous peoples through our
investment in British forms of government, Western notions of
nature and property, and European ideas of racial hierarchies in
terms of who should have rightful access to power in our countries,"
Hosein said as she delivered welcome remarks at the launch of a
three-day symposium titled Indigenous Geographies And Caribbean
Feminisms: Common Struggles Against Global Capitalism" held at
the Social Sciences lounge at the UWI St. Augustine campus.
The event--- a collabora- tion between the UWI Institute for
Gender and Development
Studies (IGDS) and the
UWI Department of Ge-
ography--- began yesterday
and features a range of panel
discussions and presenta-
tions from activists from
countries such as Guyana,
Suriname and Belize, the
U.S, and Canada focused
on highlighting the plight
of indigenous people and
women in having their rights
represented in a capitalist world.
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