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From page A1
Former Independent senator Dana Seetahal,
SC, has suggested that the Government should
look at how anti-gang laws are enforced elsewhere
in the world.
Seetahal said the country may have to look at
its evidentiary law rather than the Anti-Gang Act
Her comment came in the wake of an announce-
ment by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar
on Thursday, that the Government intended to
review the act.
Last week, almost 100 people from east Port-
of-Spain were detained for suspected gang-related
activity but were later released owing to lack of
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan subsequently
said in an interview with the T&T Guardian that
there was nothing wrong with the act and it was
a matter of enforcement by the police.
Former national security minister Subhas Pan-
day, at a press conference earlier this week, also
asked: "Why is it we cannot use the intercept
"The anti-gang legislation cannot stand by
itself, you must have the intercept legislation
working with it, and it seems to me they cannot
develop the ability to use the intercept legislation
and that is why they can't charge anybody," he
But in a telephone interview yesterday, Seetahal
said the law is a new one which has not been
tested by the Court of Appeal. She said the act
is much wider in many ways, such as the definition
of what is a gang.
The act, she said, needs more exposure and the
Government must look to other countries and
how their legislation is enforced and successful
prosecutions are carried out abroad.
She said the issue is still a relatively new one
and the country's criminal intelligence is also still
relatively new---approximately 15 years---in com-
parison to the United States, which would have
had decades of experience addressing the matter.
The issue, she said, would also require docu-
mentation and being able to put the material in
evidential form. It would also require police to
have knowledge of the gangs.
Asked about training, Seetahal said she was
unable to say if the police training had been com-
In 2011, police were unable to press charges
against those detained under the act during the
state of emergency.
The AG said in November of that year that four
legal teams had been created to examine arrests
under the state of emergency to help train police
in implementing the Anti-Gang Act. Those teams
were reportedly led by four Senior Counsel: See-
tahal, Pamela Elder, Israel Khan and the late
Saturday, August 24, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Rowley on highway dispute
should look at
in other nations
Hollywood actor Gerard
Butler, part-owner of the
centre, poses with
founder and chairman of
the Caribbean Premier
League T20 competition,
Ajmal Khan, left, and
John Delves, CEO, Digicel
T&T, at the CPL's
hospitality box, Queen's
Park Oval, Port-of-Spain,
during the first semifinal
match on Thursday
PHOTO: DAVID WEARS
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley says
he feels Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar should meet with the Highway
Re-route Movement again to see if they
could talk things out on the disputed Debe
to Mon Desir leg of the San Fernando to
Point Fortin Highway.
Rowley made the statement yesterday
after a meeting with environmental activist
Dr Wayne Kublalsingh and the HRM at the
Opposition's Office in Port-of-Spain.
His meeting with Kublalsingh came hours
after he met with Persad-Bissessar and gov-
ernment MPs to collaborate on finding an
urgent solution to the critical crime problem.
He presented PNM crime policies to the
Government at that meeting, which he
described as fruitful.
Yesterday's meeting discussed the PM's
refusal to abide by the Armstrong Report
and the movement's continued protest for
work on the controversial leg of the highway
to be stopped.
The report was compiled by the Highway
Review Committee, an independent team
of 19 experts led by Dr James Armstrong,
a former Independent Senator.
The committee was appointed after
Kublalsingh embarked on a hunger strike
last year in support of the HRM, which is
insisting the Mon Desir to Debe leg of the
San Fernando to Point Fortin Highway
should not be built for environmental, social
and economic reasons.
The Armstrong Report recommended
that work on this leg of the highway be
halted until studies are done, and Kublals-
ingh is arguing that the PM should adhere
to the recommendations. The PM has said
she never gave such an undertaking, and
Armstrong himself said he received no such
commitment from her.
Yesterday, Rowley said the Government
had made a commitment to members of
the HRM and should meet and talk with
"I am not saying the Government should
do what Kublalsingh wants, but if you make
He said his understanding was that
according to the Armstrong Report, there
was a commitment to hire experts who
would look at the situation and report back
to the Government.
"I don't know that is happening, and I
don't think it will hurt the Government to
meet and talk about what is happening and
see to what extent we can get out of this
kind of aggravation," he said.
Rowley said a government that does not
meet with the people is not serving the
interests of the people.
Asked if he would work with the HRM,
he said, "We will ask questions about the
cost and what's happening with the project.
Other questions and concerns will also be
raised in Parliament as seen fit."
Describing the project as a bit of disaster
that would have a disturbing outcome, Row-
ley said since no international funding was
obtained for it, the Government continues
to take funds out of the current account.
OAS Construtora, a Brazilian firm, was
awarded the contract for the highway proj-
ect, which is now estimated to cost between
$15 billion and $20 billion.
Rowley said the Opposition had filed a
question in Parliament asking the Govern-
ment to say how much money had been
spent so far on the project and how much
work has been accomplished, and is expect-
ing answers when Parliament reconvenes.
It won't hurt PM
to talk things out
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