By Robert Alonzo, www.guardian.co.tt
The decision by High Court judge Prakash Moosai to convene the High Court during the early hours of yesterday morning was nothing new, Chief Justice Satnarine Sharma has said.
He was responding to questions about Moosaiís decision to preside over a bail application of five people who now face fresh charges arising out of the second phase of investigations into the Piarco Airport development project.
Former Government Minister Brian Kuei Tung, his girlfriend Renee Pierre, former Airports Authority chairmen Tyrone Gopie and Ameer Edoo and former Nipdec chairman Edward Bayley were rounded up late Monday by members of the Anti-Corruption Investigations Bureau.
A source said Senior Supt Maurice Piggott and other detectives went before Senior Magistrate Lianne Lee Kim and obtained the warrants earlier on Monday.
The directive to charge the five and others who surrendered yesterday, was given by Director of Public Prosecutions Geoffrey Henderson.
Lee Kim fixed bail for each of the five in the amount of $1 million and ordered that their bail bonds be approved by Eugene Prince, Clerk of the Peace III attached to Port-of-Spain Magistratesí Court.
Prince is the most senior Clerk of the Peace in Port-of-Spain.
The magistrateís order meant that no ex-officio Justice of the Peace could have approved the bail documents.
The source said attorneys representing the five men tried to contact Prince Monday night, but had difficulties.
The lawyers then took the decision to seek the intervention of the High Court to have the bail documents varied, as the accused had no bailors on hand.
The High Court convened at around 3 am with Registrar of the High Court, Evelyn Ann Petersen, also in attendance.
Moosai released Kuei Tung, Pierre, Edoo and Gopie on conditional bail, on the grounds they appear at the Magistratesí Court yesterday.
Sharma said yesterday that a judge had the authority to convene court at any time to accommodate litigators.
He said there were instances in the past when the court had convened in late night sittings to hear injunctions and other cases related to the death penalty.
Sharma said it was the courtís duty to make itself available when needed and was not concerned about the views of people.
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