Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 8th 2014 Contents A8
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Its Commemorative Arrival
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Regulations are being put in place to ensure the
National Security Operations Centre (NSOC) does
not become another Special Anti-Crime Unit of T&T
So said Police Service Commission chairman Prof
Ramesh Deosaran during a tour of NSOC at Knowsley,
"Questions will have to be worked out in terms of
the regulatory framework into which this National
Operations Centre will operate and we do not want
to have similar concerns as we have had with Sautt.
"This is a new venture. It is very welcome, in our
view. It looks very promising for the security and
public safety of the country," he added
Deosaran said NSOC was very sophisticated in terms
of technology and manpower capabilites and could
greatly assist in the work of the Police Service.
Referring to the attempted coup of July 1990,
Deosaran said it was obvious there were several weak-
nesses in the country s security agencies.
"We believe that this National Operations Centre
is strategically poised to heal those breaches at present
and in the future.
"We believe our security services could be vastly
improved by this centre," Deosaran said.
He said the strategic data collected by NSOC would
likely to be passed on to the commission to help improve
its appraisal exercises on the executive of the Police
Director of the National Operations Centre, Com-
mander Garvin Heerah, said inter-agency collaborations
were necessary to ensure there was strategic decision-
making, maximisation of assets and utilisation of all
Lengthy legal arguments over a series
of controversial questions directed at the
widower of businesswoman Vindra
Naipaul-Coolman have slowed the trial of
a dozen men accused of murdering her.
Rennie Coolman, a campus manager at
the University of T&T (UTT), was due to
return to the Port-of-Spain Third Criminal
Court yesterday to continue his testimony
after his cross-examination last Thursday
was cut short by objections from prosecutors.
However, when the case was called Justice
Malcolm Holdip told the 12-member jury
the attorneys had not completed their sub-
missions on the issues raised during Cool-
man s first appearance.
He estimated that the submissions would
be completed within two days and told
jurors to return to court on Thursday.
The controversial line of questioning was
raised by defence attorney Kwesi Bekoe,
who had asked Coolman about an incident
in which money was extorted from Coolman
by someone purporting to be a state attorney
so that Coolman would not be prosecuted
in the case.
Before being interrupted by the objection,
Bekoe had asked Coolman about his
involvement in his wife s family business.
Coolman said he was not involved and was
not privy to the financial standing of the
His testimony dealt mainly with what he
saw when his wife was kidnapped on
December 19, 2006, as well as his knowledge
of several ransom calls made to his wife s
younger brother, Anand, in the weeks fol-
lowing her kidnapping.
He is the sixth witness to be called by
state prosecutors since the high-profile trial
began late last month.
His stepdaughter Risha Ali and the family s
live-in housekeeper Rasheedan Yacoob, who
were both home at the time and witnessed
the kidnapping, also testified last week.
Of the 65 police officers who are witnesses
in the case, three already have given evi-
Director of the National Security Operations Centre (NSOC) Garvin Heerah,
second from right, leads chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC),
Professor Ramesh Deosaran, right, and commission member Dr James
Armstrong during a tour of NSOC's headquarters at Knowsley Building, Port-
of-Spain, yesterday. Also in photograph is retired deputy police
commissioner Mervyn Richardson, now head of the Rapid Response Unit.
PHOTO: KEITH MATTHEWS
Legal arguments slow trial
The dozen men before the jury and Justice
Malcolm Holdip are: Allan "Scanny" Martin,
Shervon "Buffy" Peters, Keida Garcia, brothers
Marlon and Earl Trimmingham, Ronald Armstrong,
Antonio Charles, Joel Fraser, Lyndon James, Devon
Peters, Anthony Dwayne Gloster and Jamille Garcia.
A 13th man, Raphael Williams, was charged but died
in prison in 2011.
Their legal team includes Ulric Skerritt, Joseph
Pantor, Selwyn Mohammed, Lennox Sankersingh,
Ian Brooks, Wayne Sturge, Mario Merritt, Richard
Valere, Kwesi Bekoe, Colin Selvon, Vince Charles,
Christian Chandler, Delicia Helwig, Alexia Romero,
Stacy Benjamin-Roach and Lana Lackhan.
The prosecution team is being led by three
Senior Counsel --- Israel Khan, Gilbert Peterson and
Dana Seetahal --- who are being instructed by state
prosecutors Joy Balkaran and Kelly Thompson.
Deosaran: Security Centre won't be another Sautt
JENSEN LA VENDE
The Police Service Social and Welfare Association
yesterday assured that if its requests are met the
country will have a better working Police Serv-
ice.Speaking at a press conference at the association s
office at Besson Street Police Station its president,
Inspector Anand Ramesar, said the country would
"most definitely" receive better service adding: "The
association can basically guarantee that."
The association is asking that salary negotiations
begin, the issue of promotions is adequately dealt
with and that compensation for extra duty is upgrad-
ed to the current rate.
Ramesar added that police should be treated as
professionals when it came to their salaries.
He said the association had looked at the new
skills and knowledge a police officer now needed
and many of them had degrees so they should be
seen as professionals.
Asked if the association was seeking to amend
the qualifications to gain entry into the service,
Ramesar said no, adding that they are not asking
for the qualifications to be increased as some who
have basic qualifications are very good police offi-
He added that there was a gap between degree-
holding officers and those with the basic qualifications
and that should be dealt with in terms of compen-
On the issue of wage negotiation Ramesar said
his members felt betrayed since the Defence Force
settled its negotiations "like a thief in the night."
Secretary of the association Insp Michael Seales
said six months have passed since it sent its proposals
to the Chief Personnel Officer and have not received
Ramesar said unless the compensation issues
were dealt with then his members would not be
making themselves available for the formation of
the Child Protection Unit, which was to be established
to deal with sexual crimes against minors.
He added that the current proposal for salary,
which he did not divulge, covered compensation for
the new proposed unit.
Cops: Better service
with improved salary
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