Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 25th 2014 Contents A10
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, July 25, 2014
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Opposition and Independent
senators gave their unanimous
support to the Government s
Indictable Offences (Committal
Proceedings) Bill and a motion for
the adoption of the House of Rep-
resentatives amendments to the
Securities (Amendment) Bill on
Attorney General Anand Ram-
logan concluded debate on the
Indictable Offences (Committal
Proceedings) Bill, during the post-
lunch session. The legislation seeks
to eliminate preliminary inquiries.
After the committee stage the
measure was approved with all 28
Government, Opposition and Inde-
pendent Senators saying "yes."
A similar result was achieved
after Finance and the Economy
Minister Larry Howai presented the
Securities Bill for debate.
He sought the support of sen-
ators to increase the time limit for
an offence committed under the
legislation to be filed. The period
was increased from six months to
seven years, plus an additional 18
The measure was approved in
the Senate two weeks ago but when
it was debated in the House of Rep-
resentatives a loophole was discov-
Howai said the law as approved
then would have allowed an action
to be statute-barred after 12
In explaining, Howai said: "If
someone committed an offence and
the matter was not brought to trial
within six months, it would become
statute- barred and you would not
be able to move forward with it."
Howai said that period was
increased with the amendment to
seven years with an additional 18
months to have the matter filed.
Opposition Senator Faris Al-
Rawi, Independent Senators Elton
Prescott, SC, David Small and
Dhanayshar Mahabir all spoke in
support of the amendment.
Independent Senator Anthony Vieira says the
St Michael s Home for Boys in Diego Martin should
be closed or declared a detention institution, placing
it under the supervision, direction and control of
the Commissioner of Prisons.
He made the call during his contribution to Tues-
day s Senate debate on the Miscellaneous Provisions
The legislation provides for heavier fines and jail
terms for offences, included breaking out of prison.
It also seeks to establish a new body corporate, called
the Inspectorate of Prisons. The bill was passed on
Boys between ten and 18 years, considered to be
out of control or who have committed crimes, are
sent by the courts to live at the home.
Vieira s call comes on the heels of requests from
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan to the Director
of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the acting Com-
missioner of Police Stephen Williams to investigate
allegations of sexual and other abuses at the home.
Vieira said the school had been a "bastard" for
many years and there must be significant changes
if the concerns were to be appropriately addressed.
He said it was the State s responsibility to make
people in custody "better, not worse," including
those who were in prison, a home or an industrial
"The problems being experienced at the home
are a failure of the system. It is a national disgrace
and I think it is time to do something about it," he
One 14-year-old-resident, Brandon Hargreaves,
died on April 8 after hitting his head on the concrete
floor of his dormitory during an attempt to drop-
kick another child. He had been sent to the school
by the court.
There was an attempt to cover it up, as well as
rampant institutional abuse, including blatant sexual
abuse, it was stated.
He said the alleged abusers were simply being
relocated from one of the homes to another across
"The institution seems more geared to protecting
the workers than the boys housed there," he added,
saying: "The problem is further compounded by the
quality of staff."
Vieira said the home, which was built in the 19th-
century, was intended to be a reformatory school to
reform "wayward boys" and was "an anomaly within
Call to close St Michael's
all 28 senators
Trade Minister Vasant Bharat and Planning Minister Bhoe Tewarie speak
during Tuesday's Senate debate. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
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