Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 31st 2013 Contents A9
Wednesday, July 31, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
MALE & FEMALE
Plus Weights Loss Pills
93 Rushworth St., San F'do 657-3382
Former junior national security minister
Collin Partap was convicted yesterday of
failing to submit to a breathalyser test.
Partap, MP for Cumuto/Manzanilla, was
ordered to pay a $5,000 fine by Chief Mag-
istrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar after she found
him guilty of failing to provide a breath
sample to a police officer on August 26 last
Ayers-Caesar gave Partap one week to
pay the fine or he will face nine months in
The offence carries a maximum fine of
$8,000 or up to three years in prison.
Immediately after the ruling, Partap s
legal team said they would appeal the deci-
In passing sentence, Ayers-Caesar said a
high fine was necessary to deter potential
future offenders. She said because Partap
was an MP, an attorney and a government
minister at the time, he should have led by
example and complied with the officers.
"I am satisfied that there was no excuse
for not taking the test," Ayers-Caesar said.
She also noted that by taking an oath of
office as an MP and minister, Partap had
sworn to uphold the laws of T&T.
"It was open for him to comply and then
complain. He was called upon to display a
higher standard of behaviour than what was
displayed in the evidence," Ayers-Caesar
She said the State had proved its case
against Partap and described the evidence
of the prosecution s witnesses as "credible,
reliable and compelling."
Partap did not testify in his defence.
In his mitigation plea, his lead attorney,
Israel Khan, SC, asked Ayers-Caesar to dis-
charge him without recording a conviction,
according to the Summary Offences Act.
Khan said that he had already "suffered
immensely" and was humiliated by the inci-
State prosecutor George Busby opposed
the suggestion, saying: "It was a deliberate
and premeditated act to continually refuse
the test. The court cannot close its eyes to
During Partap s trial, which began in May,
five police officers, including acting Police
Commissioner Stephen Williams, testified
Four of the officers who arrested Partap
said on the morning of the incident they
saw him leaving the Zen Nightclub, Port-
of-Spain, while drinking from a bottle of
alcohol. They testified that Partap got into
his SUV, turned on the flashing blue lights
and drove away.
The police stopped him at the corner of
Keate and Frederick Streets, told him they
believed he was intoxicated and asked him
to submit to a breathalyser test.
The officers, Insp Neil John, PCs Terry
Cooper and Vijay Omadath and breathalyser
technician WPC Susan Daniel, testified that
Partap repeatedly refused to take the test
while saying he was waiting for Williams
and his attorney to arrive.
Partap was arrested and taken to the Bel-
mont Police Station. After speaking with
Williams, he eventually submitted to the
test and passed.
Hours later, Partap was fired by Prime
Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
His defence team alleged he refused the
police request because he thought they were
victimising him. They also claimed Partap
could not have submitted to the test because
the necessary equipment was not available
on the scene.
Ayers-Caesar rejected their arguments
and said it was reasonable for the police to
take Partap to the nearest station, Belmont,
for the test. She also dismissed the claims
Partap guilty, fined $5,000 GEISHA KOWLESSAR
As the Section 34 e-mail investigation con-
tinues, national security adviser to the Prime
Minister Gary Griffith says he is yet to have his
computer and other electronic items returned
by the police.
Contacted yesterday, Griffith said he was in
constant contact with the investigators but was
only being told that the probe was "coming to a
"I keep hearing the police are still going through
the process but I am patient and I will just let the
police do their work. I will let them do what they
have to do," Griffith told the T&T Guardian.
He said, however, he hoped the investigation
would end soon as promised by the police.
Contacted yesterday, Deputy Police Commis-
sioner Mervyn Richardson said the investigation
was progressing and they have continued to inter-
He said a lot still depended on responses from
international companies Google and BlackBerry.
"We are still awaiting word from Google and
BlackBerry but the investigation is proceeding as
we continue to conduct interviews and work with
people," Richardson said.
Saying the police hoped the investigation would
be concluded in the quickest possible time, Richard-
son said officers were doing their best to ensure
that happened. He could not give a definite date
when the probe would be concluded.
"We cannot say whether it would be in the next
two weeks or next month. We are working hard
and trying our best to bring this to a close," he
On May 20, Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley
read out 31 e-mails which were alleged to have
come from addresses belonging to Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Attorney General Anand
Ramlogan and Local Government, Works and
Transport Minister Suruj Rambachan.
The e-mail thread also purported to include
communication to Housing Minister Dr Roodal
Moonilal and Griffith.
They discussed the alleged intentions of the
People s Partnership Government to tap the phone
of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and
the intimidation of the T&T Guardian journalist
who broke the story about the early proclamation
of Section 34 of the Administration of Justice
(Indictable Proceedings) Act 2011.
Persad-Bissessar and her colleagues have denied
any knowledge of the e-mails and labelled them
fake but she ordered acting Commissioner of Police
Stephen Williams to probe the matter.
Williams in turn mandated Richardson to lead
a six-member investigative team.
Magistrate: No excuse for refusing breath test
Griffith on e-mail probe:
Cops still have
Former junior national security minister Colin Partap, right, leaves the Port-of-Spain
Magistrates Court with his attorneys Ravi Rajcoomar, left and Jagdeo Singh after he was
found guilty yesterday. PHOTO: KEARRA GOPEE
Links Archive July 30th 2013 August 1st 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page