Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 22nd 2017 Contents tobagotoday.co.tt June 21 - 2017
Police failing in crime fight
A Cabinet minister yesterday said the
police was part of a critical failing of the
criminal justice system in T&T.
Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat
made the statement during his contribution
to yesterday's Senate debate on a bill to
establish a system of plea bargaining and
plea discussion in T&T.
The bill was presented by Attorney Gen-
eral and Minister of Legal Affairs Faris Al-Ra-
wi.It seeks to establish a system plea bar-
gaining to clear up the backlog of criminal
Rambharat said he was concerned about
the level of crime in the country. He said he
felt powerless when he saw a photo in the
newspaper of a teenaged girl displaying her
uncontrollable grief after her father was
"We ought to do better," adding that, "we
need to fix the criminal justice system."
Rambharat said he "felt powerless that
(there wasn't) anything I can do (that) will
have an impact on the criminal justice sys-
Rambharat said there was the "bureau-
cracy that over time has failed to step up to
give effect to what the Parliament has done
and that is the true failing, whether it is the
court, the Police Service."
He said he was "not a fan of the TTPS.
Every time I pass police officers, the police
canteen, the (Police) barracks and I see the
police vehicles parked up there, used, unused,
salvaged, destroyed, whatever. I know that
the TTPS forms part of a critical failing in
the criminal justice system."
The minister referred to the recent murders
of two Chinese nationals in Marabella, add-
ing that the killer was "somebody so brazen
to fire shots and go twice and reload and
return (as was shown in video footage of the
Rambharat said that "can happen to any-
one of us."
He said no one was against the system of
plea bargaining but insisted it had not worked
here because criminals had no real fear of
Rambharat said he was the father of three
children. He gave their ages and said he was
"extremely worried about where we are and
the urgency of fixing this thing we constant-
ly talk about, the criminal justice system."
He said the one good thing coming out
of the Tropical Storm Bret which passed over
T&T on Monday night, was that it "would
stop crime for a few hours in this country."
Three men were shot dead near John John
basketball court, in East Port-of-Spain hours
before the storm struck.
Opposition Senator Gerald Ramdeen, who
spoke after Rambharat, said the Opposition
was in support of the legislation. He insist-
ed, however, the criminal elements in T&T
should be wiped out.
Roman Catholic priest Father Clyde Harvey
Betsy's Hope is located on the far eastern end of the island
nestled between Roxborough and Louis D'or. Legend has it
that the village was named after a slave named Betsy. She
always said one day slaves would be free. When news came
of their freedom she suffered a heart attack and died.
Battery Park, Betsy's Hope.
NO BAIL FOR HARVEY ROBBERY ACCUSED
Cops beat us for confession
Three men and a minor accused of robbing
Roman Catholic priest Fr Clyde Harvey last
week claimed yesterday they were beaten by
police to confess to the crime.
Lawyers representing Christian Huggins,
19, Miguel Collins, 18, Dion Gillard, 21 and
a 17-year-old, whose name has been withheld
as he is a minor, made the allegations short-
ly after they were denied bail in the Port-
of-Spain Magistrates' Court.
Attorney Chelsea John, who represented
Collins, said: "My client has informed me
that he was beaten and forced to sign a doc-
ument which he was not able to read."
In response, police prosecutor Sgt Azard
Ali questioned the veracity of the allegations.
"I find it passingly strange that all of a
sudden the accused were beaten," Ali said.
Huggins' lawyer Ronald Daniels rejected
Ali's assertion, which he described as inap-
propriate and unfortunate.
Presiding Magistrate Kerri Honore-Narine
made a note of the complaints and instruct-
ed the defence attorneys that the issue may
be raised during the trial of the case.
The men, who were dressed in the same
clothes they were wearing when they were
arrested by officers of the Port-of-Spain CID
last week, all appeared to have bruise marks
on their faces but no other injuries that were
visible in court.
Honore-Narine acceded to the attorneys'
request to have the group taken to the Port-
of-Spain General Hospital for treatment before
being remanded to prison and the Youth
Training Centre (YTC) in Arouca.
The accused were charged with breaking
and entering into the St Martin's de Porres
RC Church at Hermitage Road, Gonzales,
Belmont and falsely imprisoning Harvey
during an incident last Monday.
They were also accused of using personal
violence to rob Harvey of a watch valued at
US$500, a Samsung Galaxy cellphone valued
at $4,500 and $1,000 cash.
When the group's attorneys attempted to
apply for bail, the prosecutor said the crim-
inal record tracing was not available and
asked that the case be adjourned to Thursday.
Honore-Narine agreed as she said she could
not consider bail without having sight of the
The minor was represented by Sheldon
Guerra, while Gillard represented himself.
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