Caribbean News Round-up

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PCA recommends cops be charged in ganja find at Kamla’s house

Kamla House[Trinidad Guardian] – The Police Complaints Authority (PCA) is recommending prosecution action be taken against an unspecified number of police officers who were allegedly involved in a discovery of marijuana at the private residence of former prime minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

In a release today the PCA stated it intends to recommend to the Director of Public Prosecutions to charge the officers with the offence of Misbehaviour in Public Office.

On June 17, the PCA informed the public of its decision to begin an investigation, on the matter.

The release went on to say, “The PCA completed a comprehensive investigation into the matter and has forwarded its investigative file together with a recommendation to the Director of Public Prosecutions to prosecute specified person(s) for the offence of Misbehaviour in Public Office on account of wilful neglect of duty.”

During the 2015 general election campaign, then political leader of the Independent Liberal Party, Jack Warner, claimed a quantity of marijuana was found at Persad-Bissessar’s Philippine residence in April 2013. Warner said that he, with the assistance of two other ministers and a former senior police officer had covered up the crime.

 

Haiti election results trigger violent protests

_86868454_672d0282-13ea-4983-8bf3-95b1955e3205[BBC] – Violent protests have erupted in Haiti after the electoral council announced the official results of the first round of last month’s presidential election.

Jovenel Moise, who has the backing of current President Michel Martelly, came first with 33% of the vote and Jude Celestin came second with 25%.

As neither won a majority, a run-off will be held on 27 December.

The announcement triggered protests by supporters of another candidate, Moise Jean-Charles.

His supporters took to the streets of Cabaret, a town in western Haiti, while protests also erupted in the capital, Port-au-Prince, where two police officers were injured.

Police fired teargas to disperse protesters who denounced the first round as fraudulent.

Last week, one person was killed when police clashed with protesters demanding that the first round be annulled.

The protesters accuse the government of rigging the election in favour of Mr Moise, an accusation Mr Martelly’s administration has denied.

 

Terror law invoked

isis (1)[TT Newsday] – FOR THE FIRST time, the State has invoked powerful provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Act 2005, seeking to have a High Court judge deem an individual or entity as a “terrorist” and to freeze the assets of that person or entity.

Attorney General Faris Al Rawi said an application was lodged yesterday under Section 22B of the Anti-Terrorism Act, as he promised the State would use existing laws to fight the scourge of terrorism in the wake of the November 13 ISIS attack in Paris which left over 130 dead and many hundreds injured.

While the Attorney General did not disclose details of the application, one unconfirmed report indicated the application relates to the individual known as Kareem Ibrahim, a Trinidadian who was sentenced in 2012 in a New York court, to life in prison, for conspiring to commit a terrorist attack at John F Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York, by exploding fuel tanks and a fuel pipeline under the airport.

It is further understood the State has retained senior counsel Pamela Elder to represent its interest in this case which will see a judge conduct a paper review of affidavit evidence. If the judge is satisfied the person or entity has knowingly committed or participated in the commission of a terrorist act or has acted on behalf of any known terrorist organisation, the judge must order the entity to be listed as a terrorist.

A terrorist act is one that will cause or is “likely” to cause harm and destruction. The judge’s order must, by law, be made public through publication in the Gazette within six days, if granted.

The entity then has a right of appeal within 60 days.

However, the effect of any order would be to freeze the funds of the listed entity pending this appeal process. It is expected the matter filed yesterday will be dealt with as a matter of urgency in court, though there was no word on the assignment of a judge yesterday. The Attorney General yesterday disclosed the Section 22B application while addressing a plenary meeting of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), the regional group of 27 nations which implements global standards meant to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

“Ladies and gentlemen, Trinidad and Tobago is pleased to announce that as of today we would have made an application before the court to cause the designation of a Section 22B entity under the Anti-Terrorism Act,” Al Rawi said at the event at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain. “It is something we took control of as an incoming government and prosecuted with due process leading to an application to the courts today. It is a very important thing to apply the laws of your country and not only to have them.” It is unclear if there is any link between the current application and recent global developments.

At a later media conference, Al Rawi said the application related to a request that had been pending “for some time”. He did not indicate the source of the request, saying he would not divulge details of the application as the matter was now sub judice or under consideration by the court. [Extract]

 

Ramlogan’s reputation brought into question

Former Attorney General Anand Ramlogan
Former Attorney General Anand Ramlogan

[Trinidad Express] – “FICTION” was the word used to describe the reputation of former attorney general Anand Ramlogan SC as a legal battle between him and Minister of Works and Infrastructure Fitzgerald Hinds for defamation of character got underway at the Hall of Justice in Port of Spain yesterday.

Ramlogan gave evidence before Justice Vashiest Kokaram for close to three hours as he seeks damages from Hinds for slander and libel, stemming from certain statements uttered at Guaico Government School last May and which subsequently generated great publicity in both the print and electronic media.

Ramlogan claims the alleged defamatory statements “greatly injured his good name and position, brought into public scandal and disrepute and held up to the contempt, ridicule and shame with and among relatives, friends, acquaintances and citizens of Trinidad and Tobago”.

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