Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 29th 2013 Contents A9
Wednesday, May 29, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
MALE & FEMALE
Plus Weights Loss Pills
93 Rushworth St., San F'do 657-3382
Also Available at Peake's
• Varma Hi-Grade Zinc & PVC Chain Link
• Varma Premium Grade Painted/Unpainted
Aluzinc Roofing Sheets
• Varma Hi-Grade Purlins, Flashing, Guttering
• Varma BRC, Barbed Wire
Call: 659-4008/4556, 222-2392
The trial of 12 men accused of kidnapping and mur-
dering businesswoman Vindra Naipaul-Coolman has
been hit with yet another snag.
During a status hearing in the Port-of-Spain Second
Criminal Court yesterday, several of the accused said they
still had not retained legal representation.
The trial was adjourned several times in the past when
the accused raised the same issue.
On May 1, when the trial date was set, representatives
of the Legal Aid and Advisory Board told the court defence
lawyers would be hired in time for the start of the trial.
Yesterday the representatives said the issue was still being
addressed by the board.
As a result, Justice Malcolm Holdip adjourned the case
to next Tuesday for another status hearing. A new date
for the trial will be set once the board secures defence
attorneys for the unrepresented accused.
Legal sources said the trial was expected to last more
than three months as more than 100 prosecution witnesses
were expected to testify.
At a previous status hearing last year, Justice Mark
Mohammed raised the issue of a temporary court being
used for the trial as existing courts at the Hall of Justice
were deemed too small for the large number of attorneys
expected to be involved.
The idea was later abandoned and the trial set for the
Port-of-Spain Second 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 Counsel, Gilbert Peterson, Israel Khan and
Vindra murder trial
hits another snag
President of the Islamic Missionaries
Guild Imtiaz Mohammed says the
United States ought to be the "last to
talk" about discrimination against
Muslims when it is the US that dis-
criminates against Muslims.
He was commenting on the Interna-
tional Religious Freedom Report for
2012, which said several Caribbean
countries, including T&T, Jamaica, Haiti
and the Bahamas, were discriminating
against Rastafarians, voodoo practition-
ers and Muslims.
The report said during the 2011 three-
month state of emergency, 16 Muslim
men were arrested for alleged involve-
ment in a plot to assassinate the Prime
Minister and three other Cabinet min-
The report said none of the men was
charged with any crime and they were
released after a week.
Muslims, the report added, have
referred to that incident as "an example
of bias against the Muslim community"
and several of those arrested claimed
to be pursuing legal action against the
Government for wrongful arrest.
But Mohammed said it was up to the
local national security authorities to
determine who should be arrested.
"I would not call that discrimination.
The national security authority deter-
mined who was held during the state
of emergency. An explanation, however,
for that never came out as to why these
people were held," Mohammed added.
He said Muslims in T&T were being
discriminated against by the US Gov-
ernment by refusing to grant visas.
"The US really has no moral authority
to talk about discrimination. I know of
many prominent Muslim businessmen
in this country who were refused a US
visa. I myself had my commercial pilot s
licence revoked and my children s visas
were also cancelled," he added.
On specific instances of discrimina-
tion against Muslims, Mohammed said
there were occasional complaints that
Muslims were not given enough,
whether funding or otherwise, by Gov-
Such claims, he added, must be prop-
Sheraz Ali, Imam of the Nu-E-Islam
Mosque, El Socorro, said he did not
believe there were deliberate acts of dis-
crimination against Muslims in T&T
but subtle instances which could be
viewed as discrimination.
Those, Ali added, could be rectified
via education and greater tolerance
towards Muslims and their culture.
He said there were some instances
where Muslim men were not allowed
to wear beards which was a strong indi-
cation of Islam.
He said: "There have been times when
Muslim women were told they could
not wear the hijab at certain places of
"There are instances where Muslims
have had difficulty in getting time-off
from their jobs to attend juma (Friday
prayers) which lasts about an hour.
These are a few instances but I do not
believe they are done on purpose."
Asked if he believed there were
increasing instances of Muslims being
discriminated against in T&T, Ali said
that was not the case.
US should be last
to talk on Muslims
Islamic Missionaries Guild president:
Petrotrin has started paying Trinmar
retirees their outstanding money a day
after they staged protests at the compa-
ny s base in Point Fortin.
In a statement yesterday, Petrotrin s
manager of corporate communications,
Gillian Friday, said Petrotrin had previously
agreed to make adjustments on the retirees
pensions to allow for the inclusion of Cost
of Living Allowances (COLA).
"The adjustments are being calculated
by the company s actuaries and payments
have started," Friday said.
She said the protest by the retirees did
not affect Trinmar s operations on Monday.
She added that Petrotrin would continue
to honour its commitment to its retirees
who have contributed to the organisation.
On Monday, ailing Trinmar retirees
braved inclement weather to protest for
their outstanding payments. Spokesman
Frankie Mc Guire said between 2001 to
2004 an inaccurate calculation was done
on pension payments.
That was supposed to have been cor-
rected in the second pension tranche for
the period 2007 to 2010 but Mc Guire
said that was not done.
President of the Oilfields Workers Trade
Union Ancel Roget said the Trinmar
retirees were dying and many of them had
not benefitted from their pensions. He
said the union s collective agreement indi-
cated that Trinmar retirees would be paid
every three years based on the inflation
Petrotrin starts paying retirees
Naipaul-Coolman, 52, of Lange Park, Chaguanas, was
kidnapped on December 19, 2006. Her abductors
demanded a $3 million ransom for her safe release.
Her relatives paid part of the ransom but 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 but died in
prison in 2011.
Links Archive May 28th 2013 May 30th 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page