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2 remanded in custody

Cocaine in the Diplomatic pouch


TWO of the three accused appearing before a Port-of-Spain magistrate yesterday to answer charges of conspiracy to traffic cocaine were remanded in custody until next Tuesday. The three accused appeared before Senior Magistrate Lianne Lee Kim in the Port-of-Spain Fourth Court. Standing before Magistrate Lee Kim were Bissoon Boodhai, financial accountant at the Trinidad and Tobago High Commission in London, Micah Smith, employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Kurt Alexis, a former employee of the Foreign Affairs Ministry. Charges laid against the men are that during the period November 30, 2003 and May 8, 2004, in the republic of Trinidad and Tobago and elsewhere, Boodhai and Smith conspired with Alexis to traffic cocaine, contrary to common law.

As the three accused appeared yesterday, the attorney representing Boodhai, former Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, (DPP), Rangee Dolsingh SC, requested of the prosecution that he be supplied with two statements taken from his client by investigating officers. The prosecution noting the request, informed Boodhai’s attorney that they would provide him with the documents later in the day (yesterday). Dolsingh also noted that another request he made earlier this week on behalf of his client had not yet been acknowledged. On Tuesday, Dolsingh complained that the charge was wrongly laid and asked the magistrate for the meaning of the word "elsewhere," as stated in the charge. When the matter was again raised yesterday, Magistrate Lee Kim informed Dolsingh that since it was a legal term, the matter had to be dealt with by the State attorney dealing with the matter, and not the court’s police prosecutors.

Lee Kim told Dolsingh that a State attorney had not yet been appointed and, as a result, he would have no choice but to wait until that is done. Boodhai remained on $100,000 bail. Alexis, 26, of Cocoyea Village in San Fernando, who was initially charged for possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, was yesterday brought to court after a warrant was executed for his arrest arising out of the new charges brought against him. When he appeared yesterday, Magistrate Lee Kim refused to grant him bail as it was brought to her attention by police prosecutors that the complainant experienced difficulty in executing the warrant on May 29.

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