Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 27th 2018 Contents news A5
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Wallerfield man killed in highway crash
A man from Wallerfield was
killed instantly when he was
thrown from a vehicle in an
accident that occurred early
yesterday along the Churchill
Dead is David Charles from
Orchid Drive. Two other passen-
gers identified as Kevin Ali and
Regatta Garcia were taken to the
Arima District Hospital where
they were both treated for inju-
According to a police report,
shortly before 7 am, Charles was
driving his Toyota Corolla car
along the westbound lane of the
highway near Demerara Road
when it veered off and crashed
into an electricity pole.
Charles was thrown from the
vehicle and struck the pole head
first. He died on the scene.
The body was viewed by the Dis-
trict Medical Officer and the body
sent to the Eric Williams Medical
Sciences Complex’s mortuary.
Investigations are continuing.
State ordered to
pay terror plot
The police’s detention of 15 people
in connection with an alleged ter-
ror plot to disrupt the recently con-
cluded Carnival celebrations has
already begun to cost the State.
High Court Judge Frank Seeper-
sad yesterday ordered the State to
pay $6,100 in legal costs incurred
by Alisha Thomas in filing a habeas
corpus writ challenging her lengthy
detention as part of the ongoing in-
Thomas and her husband Adil
Mansano were among the initial
group detained for questioning in
relation to the alleged plot and were
eventually released after almost a
week in custody.
The couple’s writs were eventu-
ally withdrawn as they were charged
with possession of a component of a
firearm, in a gun cleaning kit, which
was allegedly found at their San Juan
home at the time of their arrest.
Mansano received half of his legal
costs when his case was withdrawn
on February 15, but Seepersad only
considered his wife’s case yesterday.
In his oral decision, Seepersad
ruled that investigators from the
T&T Police Service’s Special Branch
couldn’t justify why they failed to
charge Thomas for the kit shortly
after it was recovered. He also noted
that police could not justify keeping
Thomas for almost six days. While
he acknowledged investigations into
terrorism are complex and cannot
be completed in a short period of
time, he said detentions should be
just and reasonable.
“The authorities are obligated
to treat the information and in-
telligence received and conduct a
thorough investigation... Ultimately,
the rights of all citizens have to be
protected,” Seepersad said as he
noted that terrorism threats were
Seepersad suggested that a 48-
hour detention period was fair,
but said additional time could be
justified depending on the circum-
stances of each case.
The couple’s possession case is
still pending and is due to come up
for hearing on March 16. The T&T
Guardian understands the couple
and the other freed detainees are
currently considering filing false
imprisonment lawsuits against the
State. However, they are in no rush
as they have four years in which to
do so under the Limitation of Cer-
tain Actions Act.
Thomas was represented by
Mario Merritt and Kirby Joseph.
Grief in Coalmine
Villagers of Jairsingh Village in
Coalmine, Sangre Grande, were in
mourning last night, following the
murder of school teacher Margaret
Diaz-Guevara by a close relative who
also attempted suicide.
Diaz-Guevara, 44, a teacher at St
Francis RC School in Sangre Grande
and mother of five, was reportedly
dressing for work when she and her
relative had an altercation.
During the quarrel the relative
grabbed his shotgun and fired upon
her. She was hit in the chest and ab-
domen and died on the spot. The
relative then placed the gun to his
forehead and pulled the trigger.
Relatives, who arrived on the
scene before the police, said they
found Diaz-Guevara in one corner
of the room and the relative in the
other corner leaning against a wall
covered in blood.
The relative survived but sus-
tained massive injuries to his face.
He was warded in critical condition
at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences
Complex, Mt Hope, last night under
When the T&T Guardian visited
the scene yesterday, Diaz-Guevara’s
children and family were grief-
stricken and being comforted by
those around them.
A neighbour, who did not want to
be named, said two of Diaz-Guevara’s
children came running to her house
around 9 am. She said they begged
her to call the police because their
mother was being beaten. She said
she called the Sangre Grande po-
lice, but by the time they arrived Di-
az-Guevara had already been killed.
The neighbour said she had heard
the two arguing from early morning,
adding that she believed the killing
could have been prevented if the
police had responded immediately.
Another villager told T&T Guard-
ian that Diaz-Guevara, who was
the sister of a police officer, was in
an abusive relationship. He said al-
though she left the home several
times due to abuse, she would al-
ways return and often did not make
any reports to the police.
“She returned to get her death.
I am so sad on hearing the news,
but it is said cats and dogs does run
away, and why this good lady had
to endure all the abuse until her life
St Francis RC teachers rushed to
Diaz-Guevara’s home on hearing of
the incident. Some wept and em-
braced each other at the scene and
all of them were said to be in shock.
The students in her class report-
edly all screamed when they re-
ceived news of her death.
District Medical Officer Cortice
viewed the body and ordered its re-
moval to Sangre Grande mortuary,
from where it will be taken to the
Forensic Sciences Centre, St James,
for an autopsy.
Doma: PoS open for business
The Downtown Owners and Mer-
chants Association (Doma) yester-
day responded to various warnings
and advisories about safety and
security from diplomatic missions
with a statement announcing that
Port-of-Spain is open for business.
The group said the haziness of
the warnings and advisories had
left citizens in a state of doubt
which is doing “untold and serious
harm” to the country.
“Regionally and internationally
we are gaining a reputation of
being a nation in collapse based on
warnings that are not supported by
evidence or facts,” Doma said.
“The unfortunate incident in east
Port-of-Spain on Monday February
19 has been added to the “mix” of
previous advisories to create a new
toxicity to the image of our coun-
try and its capital. We understand
the high standard to which foreign
missions are held regarding the
safety and well-being of their citi-
zens, but we also feel constrained
to respectfully defend the image of
The group, which re-stated
its support for agencies fighting
against all forms of extremism,
expressed concern that accounta-
bility has been absent from recent
threat warnings in T&T.
The statement continued: “We
do not want to endanger the pro-
gress of sensitive investigations,
but we also do not want to worsen
the gloom that is engulfing the out-
look of a majority of our people in
all strata and in all classes in our
This gloom about Trinidad and
Tobago is spreading quickly among
the investment community both
local and foreign and is making it-
self felt in many areas of our econ-
In underscoring that the nation’s
capital is open for business, Doma
cited the example of Port-of-Spain
Mayor Joel Martinez who led a
clean up in person in the aftermath
of the chaos of February 19.
“We are actively dealing with
issues related to security, parking,
homelessness and we are making
progress, albeit in small steps but
progress nonetheless,” Doma said.
Two relatives of Margaret Diaz-Guevara console each other as they speak with police officers outisde her house
yesterday. Inset: A police investigator examines the shotgun used in the killing.
PICTURE RALPH BANWARIE
Teacher slain by relative during quarrel
Justice Frank Seepersad
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