Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 27th 2014 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, March 27, 2014
HENRY STREET, PORT OF SPAIN
623-2038 OR 789-5784
Between 9am and 4pm
The Integrity Commission
has summoned the heads of
several state agencies to
account for "donations"
allegedly given to Jack Warner
to fund a ministry Christmas
party while he was a govern-
The T&T Guardian under-
stands that the letters were issued as the
commission starts its investigation into
allegations that Warner wrote to con-
tractors, including businessman Junior
Sammy, asking for monetary contribu-
tions to throw a Christmas party for
ministry staff during his tenure.
Warner, now leader of the Independent
Liberal Party, is a former National Secu-
rity Minister and Works and Infrastruc-
There has been a steady rise
in child sexual abuse for the
past two years, says Gender,
Youth and Child Development
Minister Clifton De Coteau.
He said so at a civil-society-
workshop at the Marriott Hotel,
Invaders Bay, Mucurapo, yes-
Quoting statistics from the
Crime and Problem Analysis
Branch of the Police Service, De
Coteau said in 2010 there were
278 reported cases, in 2011, 286
cases and in 2012, 362 cases of
abuse against minors.
"The depravity of the issue is
that there are numerous cases
that go unreported and unde-
tected because our children lack
the parental and institutional
support to defend themselves.
"This is a gross injustice to
our children, as they are denied
the opportunity for personal
development and to live life at
optimal capacity," De Coteau
He said the ministry was tak-
ing its public education drive to
the next level by providing a tar-
geted multi-dimensional cam-
paign to address child sexual
abuse in all its phases.
The Children s Authority, he
added, was expected to come
fully on stream in September
and would act as the guardian
of children in need of care and
protection and a hub for delivery
of integrated services.
The role of civil society organ-
isations was important, De
"Your connection to the
community and the relation-
ships you have built with other
social groups were critical. You
are crucial in helping change
social values and attitudes
among members of your com-
De Coteau said through
mobilisation of citizens, long-
term change could be felt in the
attitudes, knowledge and behav-
iour of parents, guardians, teach-
ers, community members and
most importantly perpetrators.
"We want to reach these
offenders, who are sometimes
abused victims themselves. If
we change the psyche of these
offenders, it can in turn decrease
the number of cases we have
annually," he added.
A police officer was fined $1,000 for
beating a 73-year-old cancer patient after
a dispute over a drain.
SRP Russell Ramcharran, who is attached
to the Brasso Police Station, was also ordered
to pay $5,000 in compensation.
He pleaded guilty to assaulting his neigh-
bour, Ian Clifton, occasioning a wound,
when he appeared before Chaguanas mag-
istrate Brambhanan Dubay.
The incident took place on August 22,
2013. Court prosecutor Sgt Ken Ali said
around 10.30 am Clifton, a pensioner, was
in his garden at his home at Fletcher Street,
Todds Road, Chaguanas, when Ramcharran
walked up to him.
He said Ramcharran cuffed Clifton several
times in the face and when Clifton fell down,
Ramcharran knelt on his chest and hit him
several more times in the face. As he was
walking away, Ramcharran also threatened
to shoot him.
Clifton made a report to the Longdenville
Police Post and then went for treatment at
the Chaguanas Health Facility.
PC Nelson made inquiries and arrested
Ramcharran on a warrant.
Ramcharran was not in the Police Service
in August 2013.
Ramcharran apologised to Clifton in court.
His attorney Taradath Singh said Ram-
charran was remorseful but claimed Clifton
had attacked Ramcharran, who had defended
He presented a testimonial from a senior
superintendent and a certificate of good
character. But Ali said the court had an obli-
gation to protect society, more so senior
citizens, from people like Ramcharran,
despite their occupation, and senior citizens
must be able to enjoy the remainder of their
lives in their own property without fear.
Ali said Ramcharran cuffed Clifton more
than 15 times and even knelt on his chest
and the medical certificate said Clifton was
bleeding from his ears and had injuries to
Clifton told the court the incident
stemmed from a dispute over a drain
because Ramcharran had dug a drain
through his property and he had blocked
it.The magistrate allowed Ramcharran 30
days to pay all the money or serve a three-
month jail term.
The commission, in the letter
summoning the head of the state agency,
cited Section 34 (1) of the Integrity in
Public Life Act, sub-section (c).
The sub-section says in carrying out its
function under Section 33, to investigate
claims of corrupt or dishonest conduct,
"the commission may require any person,
within a specified time, to provide any
information or to answer any question
which the commission considers
necessary in connection with any enquiry
or investigation which the commission is
empowered to conduct under this act."
WHAT THE LAW SAYS
This investigation is not the only
Integrity Commission investigation
In January the commission announced it
was investigating allegations of fraud
against him in an April 2013 report from
the Integrity Committee of the
Confederation of North, Central American
and Caribbean Association Football
That report alleged that Warner
committed fraud against Concacaf and Fifa
in connection with the Centre of Excellence
and the financial statements of Concacaf
during his tenure as Fifa vice-president and
In January the commission said it had
written to President Anthony Carmona in
accordance with Section 15 of the Integrity
in Public Life Act asking for a tribunal to be
appointed to inquire further into
declarations submitted by Warner.
On Tuesday the T&T
Guardian saw one of the
letters, dated March 20,
sent to the head of a state
agency. Given the sensitive
nature of the matter, the
The letter summoned the
individual to a meeting at
the commission s office, 82
Port-of-Spain, to account for a contri-
bution allegedly made to Warner.
Yesterday when contacted, the com-
mission s chief communications and
public relations officer, Mervyn Crichlow,
said: "I cannot comment on any inves-
tigation that may or may not be before
Warner confirmed he was aware of
the investigation and had no qualms
He said: "I am aware of the investi-
gation but what you want me to do?
They have their work to do. Let them
do their work. They have the work to
do. I have no problem with that.
"Listen, allegations are made every
day, every week, every year. I am not
interested in that."
OTHER IC PROBES
Gender, Youth and Child Development Minister Clifton De Coteau, left, and Minister of State in the Ministry of
Gender, Child and Youth Development Raziah Ahmed, listens to president of the Network of Rural Women
Producer of T&T Gia Gaspard-Taylor during Break the Silence Training for Civil Society Organisation (CSO),
"Ice Breaker" session, held at the Marriott Hotel, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. PHOTO: MARYANN AUGUSTE
Reports of child abuse
on rise, says De Coteau
Cop fined for assaulting pensioner
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