Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 2nd 2013 Contents A9
Thursday, May 2, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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Despite the recent work stop-
page and protests, Works and
Infrastructure Minister Dr Suruj
Rambachan says he is not wor-
ried about setbacks in the com-
pletion of the $7 billion Point
Fortin to San Fernando highway.
He made the statement while
touring the construction site yes-
terday, the day after workers issued
an ultimatum to the Brazilian con-
tractor, OAS Constructora, to
address safety and wage concerns.
Speaking to reporters after
meeting with OAS project manager
Andre Carvalho, Rambachan said
recent problems with workers were
He said OAS was working assid-
uously to ensure that the first
phase from Golconda to Debe was
completed by July.
However, Rambachan admitted
to being concerned about safety
"I have asked Nidco to look at
the safety issues which the workers
"There has been one fatal acci-
dent and we want to be sure that
we can boast in the future that no
hours were lost to accident, no
lives have been lost and no one
was seriously injured when the
highway is completed.
"I will be paying attention to
safety and I have asked Minister
Stacy Roopnarine to have direct
oversight over the safety issues,"
He hoped the concerns could
be addressed bilaterally between
OAS and the contract workers.
The minister also said he would
investigate reports that the son of
a manager of OAS was extorting
$2,500 from people requesting jobs
Works and Infrastructure Minister Suruj Rambachan, second from right, and
Minister in the ministry, Stacy Roopnarine, right, chat with OAS project manager
Andre Carvalho, left, and the company's representative, Rodrigo Ventur, during
their visit to the job site of the Solomon Hochoy Highway extension to Point
Fortin in Golconda yesterday. PHOTO: TONY HOWELL
Suruj concerned over safety
issues on Pt Fortin highway
Twelve men accused
of kidnapping and mur-
man in 2006 will go on
trial on June 3.
The date for the high-
profile murder trial was
set yesterday during a
status hearing before Jus-
tice Malcolm Holdip,
who will preside over the
The trial was adjourned repeatedly
in the past after they were unable to
hire defence attorneys.
During yesterday s hearing, prose-
cutors told Holdip the Legal Aid and
Advisory Authority was making final
arrangements for defence lawyers this
week. Holdip adjourned the matter to
May 20, when the authority will
announce if it has been successful.
Legal sources said the trial was expected
to last longer than three months as
more than 100 prosecu-
tion witnesses were
expected to testify.
At a previous status
hearing last year, Justice
Mark Mohammed, who
was presiding over the
case, raised the issue of
a temporary court being
used for the trial, as
existing courts at the Hall
of Justice in Port-of-
Spain were deemed too
small to comfortably
accommodate the large
number of attorneys expected to be
The idea was later abandoned and
the trial set for the Port-of-Spain Sec-
ond Criminal Court. Video conferencing
will be used to communicate with the
instructing attorneys who will be
accommodated in another courtroom.
The matter is being prosecuted by a
legal team led by three Senior Coun-
sel---Gilbert Peterson, Israel Khan and
12 go on trial for Vindra's murder June 3
Naipaul-Coolman, 52, of Lange Park,
Chaguanas, was kidnapped as she drove
into her driveway on December 19, 2006.
Her abductors demanded a $3 million
ransom for her safe release and her
relatives paid a portion. However, she was
not freed and her body was never found.
On trial are Allan "Scanny" Martin, Shervon
"Buffy" Peters, Keida Garcia, brothers
Marlon and Earl Trimmingham, Ronald
Armstrong, Antonio Charles, Joel Fraser,
Lyndon James, Devon Peters, Anthony
Dwayne Gloster and Jamille Garcia.
A 13th man, Raphael Williams, was charged
with the crime but died in prison in 2011
from complications of sickle-cell anaemia.
A 66-year-old British national is expected to
reappear before a Port-of-Spain magistrate today
charged with assaulting a ten-year-old boy.
Derek Ide appeared before Magistrate Maureen
Baboolal-Gafoor in the Seventh Court yesterday.
He was charged with committing grievous sexual
assault on April 28.
Court prosecutor Sgt Wayne Mohammed, who
objected to bail, said he had no information about
Ide because the complainant was absent.
Mohammed said he had to verify Ide s address
and needed more information about the victim
before he could agree to bail being granted.
Baboolal-Gafoor requested information about
Ide s entry conditions into this country, his entry
and exit dates, the purpose of his visit, his local
address and whether he owned or was leasing the
assaulting boy, 10
WHAT UNION SAID
Labour relations officer of the
Oilfields Workers' Trade Union
(OWTU) Aaron Moyne said after
negotiations with OAS on
Tuesday, workers agreed to return
to work. He said OWTU would
follow due process by giving the
company 15 days to address wage
and safety concerns.
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