Case against PM thrown out

October 15, 2009

PM Patrick ManningComplainant against PM in wrong courtroom

A PRIVATE criminal charge against Prime Minister Patrick Manning was thrown out by Chief Magistrate Sherman McNicolls yesterday, because the woman who filed the charge was absent from the courtroom.

Manning, who appeared through his attorney Michael Quamina, later waved to reporters as his convoy stopped for a moment outside the St Vincent Street, Port of Spain courthouse, moments after the dismissal.

Natasha Cumberbatch had claimed that Manning used annoying language with intent to provoke her to breach the peace on May 21 in Port of Spain.
Full Article :

…PM’s case thrown out
A scheduling mix-up at the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court resulted in the dismissal of a private criminal complaint against Prime Minister Patrick Manning by 36-year-old Natasha Cumberbatch, yesterday.

She has until November 21, six months from the date of the alleged offence, to have the charges relaid before they become statute-barred. A source at the court confirmed that fresh private charges were laid against Manning and Vasqueo, but did not wish to divulge the new court date.

Woman re-files criminal charge against PM

PM expected in court today – October 14, 2009
There is expected to be a heightened security presence in and around the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court today, as Prime Minister Patrick Manning is expected to appear in court to answer a private complaint brought against him.

Trinidad and Tobago News Blog – URL for this article:

4 thoughts on “Case against PM thrown out”

  1. I do not know the merits of this case so I am not commenting on that aspect. But I believe there was a conspiracy to have this case thrown out.

    The complainant sat in one courtroom and was unaware that the case was transferred to another courtroom. McNicolls authorized the change in courtroom for the matter and he could have easily recalled the case later. This is quite common in court. Cases are not customarily thrown out the first time they are called for the non-appearance of a complainant.

    This case smacks of political interference and manipulation in the court proceedings and it is exactly why many fear having the final court of appeal so close to local partisan politics. Magistrates and judges do have their political allegiances.

    CJ Archie spoke about measures that threaten the independence of the judiciary in the government’s draft constitution. Are we to believe that these narrow-minded, vainglorious politicians today are above manipulating the courts to serve their own interests? Mind you, I believe that high ranking politicians and certain members of the business community have always manipulated certain court proceedings.

    Who really believes that the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) that comes under the authority of the Ministry of Finance would not be used to intimidate/harass those who are opposed to the Prime Minister?

  2. Newsday Correction
    We wish to clarify a report, “Woman re-files criminal charges against PM”, on Page 3 of yesterday’s Newsday. Attorney Michael Quamina did not indicate anything about the arrival of the Prime Minister in the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court. Mr Quamina did not proceed to the First Court with complainant Natasha Cumberbatch and he never went to the First Court. The error is regretted.

  3. Maybe someone could light a diya and enlighten us from our darkness as to…… what the hell is ‘annoying language’? And what the PM could have said to annoy the woman..

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