DPP: No sensational or inaccurate coverage of six charged in airport probe; and...Drama outside Magistrate's Court:
By Akilah Phillip Newsday
More than 60 people chased businessman Ishwar Galbaransingh to the corner of St Vincent and Duke Streets yesterday after he emerged from the Port-of-Spain Magistrate's Court where he was charged and given $3 million bail.
Galbaransingh walked quickly and got into his car which was parked at the corner.
Galbaransingh, owner of Northern Construction Limited appeared before Deputy Chief Magistrate Deborah Thomas Felix on eight charges which included illegal transfer of funds, aiding and abetting to commit misbehaviour in public office, one corruption charge and conspiracy to defraud the State of over $7,652,842.
Galbaransingh, who was one of six top officials to appear before the Magistrate, had to make a hasty retreat to a blue sports jeep as women in the group hurled accusations at him.
Using the prisoner's exit Galbaransingh left the building quietly eluding the media, who were positioned at the front of the courthouse.
However, the drama unfolded when an onlooker noticed Galbaransingh walking out of the back exit and alerted the crowd.
Scores of people ran behind Galbaransingh as he and Chief Corporate Secretary of Northern Construction Limited, Amrith Maharaj, who is also on charges, made their way to their vehicle. An angry mob continued the onslaught on the duo with one woman standing next to the jeep and verbally abusing the men. A sno-cone and nuts vendor took advantage of the crowd's presence and set up shop outside the court.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Maritime Group of Companies, John Henry Smith was the first to leave the courthouse. Smith is facing seven charges and was granted $2 million bail.
Smith who has a heart problem told reporters that his medical condition will not affect the matter, and he did not think anyone would be unreasonable under the circumstances.
Former minister of national security, Russell Huggins, who is on seven charges remained expressionless as he rushed out of the Magistrate's Court.
Former finance minister, Brian Kuei Tung was delayed as he was remanded in custody by Magistrate Thomas-Felix until his $2 million bail was regularised.
However, when he was released at 2.40 pm a group of irate women also launched an attack, and Kuei Tung had to shield himself from the group as an elderly woman among them tried to swing a cuff at the former minister. After he was safely seated in his car the mob continued the verbal abuse.
Renee Pierre companion of Kuei Tung was granted $800,000 bail. She is facing three charges including a conspiracy charge of defrauding the government of $7,652,842. Pierre the owner of a St Clair gym did not escape the angry crowd's criticism as she hastily left the court. All are due to reappear in court on April 5.
DPP: No sensational or inaccurate coverage of six charged in airport probe
Director of Public Prosecutions Mark Mohammed SC in a letter to the Editor of Newsday, yesterday advised that there should be no sensational, inaccurate or misleading coverage of any aspect in the coverage of six people charged by officers of the Anti-Corruption Squad.
He noted that prosecutions for the offences of Corruption and Misbehaviour in Public Office and related offences against Ishwar Galbaransingh, Amrith Maharaj, John Smith, Russell Huggins, Brian Kuei Tung and Renee Piere in respect of matters arising out of the New Terminal Piarco Development Project have been instituted. He added that the various preliminary enquiries are expected to commence in the very near future. "These matters have generated significant public interest," the DPP noted.
He pointed out that in his capacity as DPP, mindful of the duty of the media to report criminal matters subject to the statutory prohibition in respect of reporting evidence adduced at Preliminary Enquiries, but equally mindful of his duty to constantly act in the interests of justice so as to ensure the fair trial of the defendants, there should be no sensational, inaccurate or misleading coverage.
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