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Defence makes issue about names in airport inquiry

By Avalene Harris, www.guardian.co.tt

Defence attorneys in the Piarco Airport preliminary inquiry demanded yesterday the release of the names of the foreign experts who handled certain documents seized by the Anti-Corruption Bureau.

At the start of the hearing, defence attorney Frank Solomon, SC, pleaded with Chief Magistrate Sherman McNicolls to order the State to supply the defence with the name of the officer who had the list with the names of the foreign experts.

He made the request as the preliminary inquiry into corruption charges arising out of the Piarco Airport development project continued in Port-of-Spain Eighth Court.

Solomon said the names of the experts were vital, because they had assisted the police.

He called on lead prosecutor Gilbert Peterson, SC, to confirm the names of the four foreign experts who participated in the investigation.

He also questioned the integrity of the exhibits and who handled them the first time of the seizure.

This led McNicolls to ask Peterson whether he had the information at hand. Peterson assured he was willing to consult others and investigate before releasing the names.

Asked how much time he required, Peterson said: "I'll try my best and do it in the shortest possible time."

This response brought an angry Solomon to his feet.

"Who is he going to contact? Is he telling the court he does not know the names of these people? They are the ones who employed the experts. Is he going to place an ad in the foreign press, asking for anyone who assisted in handling the documents to come forward?"

He accused Peterson further of procrastinating to draw out the proceedings.

Acting Director of Public Prosecutions Carla Brown-Antoine, on the last occasion, wrote down the names of forensic investigators Robert Lindquist, Haans Marschdorf, Rodney Stamler and Raimundo Lopez-Pino Levi and passed it to the defence attorneys.

"Give us the four names of the experts, including those who assisted in the evaluation of the document. We are asking the State to release the names of the experts who handled the documents which were seized by Boyd. He has them in his custody," Solomon shouted.

Boyd and Cpl Joanne Archie, both of the Anti-Corruption Bureau, gave evidence.

Cross-examination continued yesterday, with Archie being grilled by defence attorney Reginald Armour, SC, representing former finance minister Brian Kuei Tung and businesswoman Renee Pierre, and Desmond Allum, SC, representing Galbaransingh, Amrith Maharaj and Northern Construction.

2003-2004 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited

Trinidad and Tobago News

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