Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 11th 2013 Contents prison s infirmary and
was later transfered to
hospital where he died.
Detectives of the
Region Two Homicide
Bureau were later sum-
moned to the prison
facility to investigate
Placid s death.
Investigators were said
to be waiting on results
of a post-mortem, which
would be conducted at
the Forensic Science
Centre, St James, later
today before they classify
Placid s death as a mur-
Investigators are also
expected to interview the
ten prisoners as well as
the prison officers who
were on duty at the time.
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, June 11, 2013
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NEW ARRIVAL OF BRAZILIAN
Hurricane, Carnevale, Delicatus Tropicale,
among other colours.
Senior Counsel and president
of the Criminal Bar Association
Pamela Elder is against the ini-
tiative of Justice Minister
Christlyn Moore to let prisoners
on remand plead guilty to speed
up trials and ease the backlog of
Elder, in a two-page letter sent
to Moore yesterday, said that pro-
posal would lead to unfair treat-
ment of prisoners whose rights
would be trampled.
Contacted yesterday, Elder con-
firmed she had written to Moore
but did not want to elaborate when
asked for a comment.
Asked whether the minister had
consulted the association she
declined to comment at first but
later said there was none.
Elder s letter, a copy of which
was obtained by the T&T
Guardian, was in reply to a letter
she received from Moore last week
Thursday. Moore s one-page letter
said in collaboration with "all
stakeholders" it was decided the
guilty plea forms, which had fallen
into disuse, would be revived.
Moore s letter said the forms
were lodged with prisons welfare
officers at the various prisons and
were to be used by those whose
"indictments have been preferred
and who are prepared to offer
guilty pleas that can be justified
on the law and evidence."
Along with the letter Moore also
sent a guilty plea form to Elder,
the T&T Guardian understands.
Elder s letter described the form
as lacking information.
"With respect to the limited cat-
egory of prisoners who have been
served indictments and who wish
to plead guilty I respectfully sug-
gest that in order to protect their
interests and prevent them from
suffering prejudice that any form
to be signed indicating an intention
to plead guilty should not be as
bare as the one attached to your
letter," Elder wrote.
The forms were available in 1999
to prisoners but were never used.
Instead of reviving an old form,
Elder said, she was disappointed
a new form was not implemented
to reflect developments in law,
particularly those which could
affect an accused.
In concluding her letter Elder
said she intended to express her
concerns and suggestion to Attor-
ney General Anand Ramlogan,
Chief Justice Ivor Archie, DPP
Roger Gaspard and Prisons Com-
missioner Martin Martinez.
Attorney and PNM Senator Faris
Al-Rawi has thrown his full sup-
port behind Elder, saying the guilty
plea form not only represented
"12th -century" justice but also
paved the way for the State to be
sued. He added: "The Justice Min-
istry seems to be a vacuum in
operation to date, with no clear
position as to the level of consul-
tation undertaken by this ministry
in relation to its work.
"The ministry is also putting
prisoners at risk for potential beat-
ings for the production of signed
statements but more particularily
putting T&T under strain in trying
to defend claims whose alleged
statements of guilt came from
improper circumstances," Al-Rawi
added. Saying the crime situation
continued to dominate the country,
he said the Justice Ministry con-
tinued to "embark upon unex-
plained frolics," which had seriously
tarnished the country s reputa-
Elder against plan to
ease court backlog
A valid guilty plea, Elder stressed, must be
voluntary and unequivocal and the accused must
be aware of the effect of his plea and the penal
consequences of the plea.
She said any form by which an accused indicated
his intention to plead guilty should ensure:
No threats or promises were made to the
accused and he intends to enter the plea
voluntarily and of his own free will.
He is entering the plea because he is guilty.
He intends to plead guilty to the offence as
charged or to a lesser offence and if so, the nature
of the lesser offence.
In indictments with multiple counts, he
intends to plead guilty to all the counts or some of
That he is aware that in pleading guilty he is
waiving his right to a jury trial, a right not to
incriminate himself, a right to confront and cross-
examine his accusers and a right to enter into a
plea discussion with a prosecutor under the plea
discussion and a Plea Agreement Act..
That he is aware of the penal consequences of
his guilty plea.
That he is aware that the form signed by him
may be used in evidence against him in the trial
(such a situation could occur if the accused
changes his mind after signing the form) or any
After the form was signed, Elder wroteit was to
be forwarded to the registrar of the Supreme
Court and the Director of Public Prosecutions.
"There is no requirement that the form should be
signed after consultation with an attorney and in
the presence of a witness."
To safeguard the interest of the accused and
protect prisons officers against allegations of
wrongdoing over the signing of the form, Elder
The forms should not be kept at the prisons
but at court registries.
The form should be signed in the presence of
an independent witness, who should not be a
An attorney for the accused should certify
they had discussed the case, the accused
understood the plea and its consequences and was
pleading guilty of his own free will.
Senior Counsel and president of
the Criminal Bar Association
and DEREK ACHONG
Relatives of Placid
Aimard Lima, 49. who
was reportedly beaten
to death while at the
Golden Grove Remand
Yard, Arouca, wants to
know how he died and
His brother Clint
Joseph said in an inter-
view at the family s home
at Lilly Street, Siparia,
his brother was held by
police for a 17-year-old
He said 17 years ago,
Lima, a maxi taxi driver,
"took two convent girls
with him and they do
their thing but they were
underage so that is rape.
"He left and went St
Lucia and after all this
time, he came back
home. The girl see him,
her mother see him and
her father, who is a
lawyer, see him and call
"Last Thursday, I left
him in a bar in Siparia
and the police pick him
up. He called me and told
me to send a phone card
for him while he was in
lockup and next think I
know he dead."
After Lima had been
charged with having sex
with the minors he was
granted bail. However, he
failed to appear in court
for the case after which
a warrant was issued for
He was arrested by
police on Friday after
which he was remanded
to the Gold Grove jail.
said they were investi-
gating whether Lima had
been beaten to death by
fellow inmates between
Sunday night and yes-
They said Lima died
on arrival at the Arima
Health Facility shortly
before 2 am yesterday.
Investigators said at
11.45 pm on Sunday
night, Placid was in a cell
at the Golden Grove
Remand Yard, Arouca,
when he got into an
altercation with ten
inmates in a cell.
Placid was reportedly
attacked by the group
and was beaten for sev-
eral minutes before
prison guards heard the
commotion and inter-
Police sources said
Placid was removed from
the cell and transfered to
Around 1 pm prisoners
in that cell alerted prison
officers and informed
them Placid had col-
lapsed and was uncon-
He was taken to the
answers on man's
death at prison
Clint Joseph, brother of Placid Aimard Lima (inset),
speaks during yesterday's interview at the family's
home in Siparia. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
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