Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 6th 2013 Contents A5
Thursday, June 6, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Inmates on remand in prison
can now have the hearings of
their cases speeded up if they are
willing to plead guilty.
This was announced in a media
release from the Ministry of Jus-
Some prisoners at the Maxi-
mum Security Prison yesterday
said they have had to wait between
eight and ten years for their trials
to begin. The release containing
the good news was distributed to
the media at a press conference
yesterday at the Maximum Secu-
rity Prison by Justice Minister
She met with inmates earlier in
the day to hear their concerns and
assured them the ministry was
committed to improving the deliv-
ery o justice and a number of
measures had been put in place
to address the issue, the release
Moore said the ministry was
committed to reforming the crim-
inal justice system to bring about
greater efficiency and accessibility.
She told prisoners she had written
to bodies representing defence
attorneys, including the Criminal
Bar Association and the Legal Aid
and Advisory Authority, to tell
them of the following measures:
The ministry, in collaboration
with stakeholders, has revived the
guilty plea form which had fallen
The forms are lodged with
prison welfare officers at prisons
to be used by inmates who are
prepared to offer guilty pleas.
The Judiciary, in a letter dated
May 23, has said it is prepared to
set aside a period to focus on
eliminating the backlog of people
on remand for an inordinately long
time and who are prepared to
plead guilty. The Judiciary will
devote two weeks at the beginning
of September for this purpose.
For those who claim to be
innocent, the Minister of Justice
has said on August, the new sys-
tem of sufficiency hearings will
see a paper committal of evidence
before a Master of the Court, who
determines whether or not a
prima-facie case against an
accused has been established.
If so, the matter will then go to
trial before a judge.
Moore said the removal of the
preliminary enquiry would save
an enormous amount of time and
cost for the State and the accused.
See Page A6
Govt to remand prisoners:
Plead guilty and speed up cases
The Leader of the Opposition
is insisting that his office had
not received an invitation to
attend the arrival ceremony for
Chinese President Xi Jinping up
to the close of the regular work
day on June 29.
In a statement yesterday the
Opposition said Dr Keith Rowley
was absent from activities related
to the State visit because he did
not receive invitations.
Finance and the Economy
Minister Larry Howai told the
Senate on Tuesday an invitation
had been sent to Rowley.
The statement said: "Up to the
end of the work day on Wednes-
day June 29, 2013 (4 pm) no invi-
tation was received for Dr Rowley.
This information must be taken
in the context that the following
two weekdays were public hol-
idays followed by the weekend.
Additionally, it is customary to
RSVP invitations of this nature."
It was only after the long
weekend, the release said, that
the party discovered an invitation
had been sent at the 11th hour,
The statement added: "On
return to the office, staff discov-
ered that a faxed invitation letter
came through to the Office of
the Opposition Leader with a
time stamp of 4.20 pm on
"We find it reprehensible that
the Minister of Finance went to
the Senate and waved a letter
while reporting that Dr Rowley
was invited and did not attend
The party said Rowley received
an invitation to attend a luncheon
at the Diplomatic Centre for US
Vice President Joe Biden during
his visit and had attended.
In a separate release on the
Children's Life Fund, the Oppo-
sition said it preferred to support
public policy which would result
in sick children receiving ade-
quate, dignified and effective
financial support directly from
accountable taxpayer sources.
Rowley got 11th hour invitation---Opposition
A 28-year-old housewife was
found chopped to death in Siparia
on Tuesday afternoon in what police
believe may have been a family dis-
Police said Rehanna Ali, of Spring
Trace, Quarry Village, was almost
beheaded and several of her fingers
Her body was discovered by her
48-year-old common-law husband,
Ala Bissessar, around 5.30 pm.
According to reports, Bissessar, a
taxi driver/construction worker, left
for work around 6.30 am and when
he returned home, he saw the doors
open and Ali's body lying face-up.
Crime scene investigators believe
Ali died between eight and ten hours
before her body was found.
Up to late yesterday police were
searching for the murder weapon
which they believe is a cutlass.
Senior Supt Lewis, ASP Pardasie,
Insp Seedarie and Sgt Corrie visited
the scene and interviewed several wit-
Police said they were confident an
arrest would be made soon.
in 'family row'
Former Chaguanas West MP
Jack Warner yesterday dis-
missed the story of a decision
he made as Minister of National
Security to pay $6.5 million to
wreck a fire tender as "foolish."
Speaking before the start of a
walkabout in the constituency,
Warner said he alone could not
have taken any decision to pay
the $6.8 million for the removal
of the firetruck.
He said: "Any decision in
Cabinet is what you call collec-
tive responsibility and therefore
Jack Warner alone could not take
"If there was no Chaguanas
by-election you would not see
that report. If I was still in Par-
liament or Cabinet you won't
see that report."
He said he found it strange
that a copy of the technical
report on the incident had not
been sent to the media.
The T&T Guardian in fact
obtained the report yesterday as
it continued its investigations
into the incident
Warner said he believed that
was part of a "dirty tricks cam-
paign" that he expected to wors-
en as the date of the by-election
drew closer. ---With reporting
by Shastri Boodan
Warner: Decision to wreck
firetruck taken by Cabinet
Ayana Kristy Deonarine performs a folk dance during an Indian Arrival Day
event hosted at the Office of the Attorney General, St Vincent Street, Port-of-
Spain, yesterday. PHOTO: BRIAN NG FATT
THOMPSON -- FORBES
A labourer employed with the
Tobago House of Assembly's Divi-
sion of Infrastructure and Public
Utilities was electrocuted on the
division's Shaw Park compound
According to reports, Tyrone
Crawford, 34, was standing with
his hand touching the wing mirror
of a dump truck while the driver,
who was sitting in the cab, was
raising the truck's tray for it to be
cleaned for the day's work.
The tray came into contact with
an overhead electrical ground wire
and Crawford was electrocuted.
He received burns all over his body
and was assisted by his colleagues,
who summoned an EHS ambu-
lance. Crawford was taken to the
Scarborough General Hospital at
Signal Hill, but was pronounced
dead on arrival.
Crawford friend and eyewitness
Keith Sandy said the incident could
have been avoided, since many
calls were made to T&TEC over
the years to relocate the wires
"This is a work yard, we asking
them years now. I tired wrap up
in that wire and I always try to
avoid it ... now look at all of them,
everyone in their white helmet and
yellow vehicle here. The man died,
could they bring him back? Why
is now they want to move the
pole?" he said
Assistant Secretary in the Divi-
sion of Infrastructure and Public
Utilities, Handel Beckles, told the
T&T Guardian an investigation has
been launched and counselling is
being provided to Crawford's fam-
"I just to want extend condo-
lences to the Crawford family. It
was tragic to walk in to that kind
of thing," he said.
Crawford was a father of two
and was employed at the DIPU as
a lorry loader for the past 12 years.
Officials from the DIPU are to meet
with his family to discuss assis-
tance with funeral arrangements.
Scarborough police, T&TEC and
DIPU are continuing investiga-
Labourer electrocuted on THA site
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