UNC senator wants answer on Ocean Pelican investigation


FILE PHOTO: The Ocean Pelican boat anchored off the Chaguaramas coast ,next to The Anchorage. –

OPPOSITION Senator Jayanti Lutchmedial has expressed concern about the course of the investigation into the alleged public health breach by the Ocean Pelican owner.

She has called on Ag Commissioner of Police (CoP) Mc Donald Jacob to give an update on the investigation as it relates to an alleged record of Sgt Adams in the station diary at Carenage Police Station, claiming an involvement by Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi (AG).

She said Jacob should say whether there was an attempt to influence the investigation.

Speaking on the United National Congress (UNC) virtual platform on Monday night, Lutchmedial charged laws were being enforced selectively in Trinidad and Tobago to achieve the desired outcome of the political directorate and were being interpreted in a manner that was geared toward serving the interests of a few.

She cited the Ocean Pelican boat issue in which Adrian Scoon, son of Government Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon and the AG are embroiled, as well as the open-air pyre cremation which she said denied Hindus from carrying out this tradition for almost two years without any justifiable reason.

“We are very concerned about the Ocean Pelican investigation which seems to be limited in its scope as to whether or not there was a breach of public health regulations and method used for the owner to get a boat licence despite the minister’s memo objection to it.

“What about the allegations that the AG was communicating with the investigator whilst the subject of the investigation was at the police station?” she questioned

“Did the sitting AG attempt to interfere, influence or otherwise direct the investigation in a particular way? Did he communicate with the Ag CoP and is there an investigation into the course of conduct embarked upon by the AG as recorded in the station diary at the Carenage Police Staion by one Sgt Adams?”

She said Sgt Adams who, “dutifully and in compliance with the TTPS standing orders made a note in the station diary” about that night’s events must not be forgotten.

She said a station diary is the contemporaneous record of what transpires during an investigation, and used in courts for murder to malicious damage to substantiate the testimony of officers.

“So why are we not hearing about Sgt Adams and his note? Tonight I ask the Ag CoP, whether a public official, the AG, the legal advisor to the Cabinet, the person who defends the state in legal matters and in whose name litigation is brought, can give his interpretation of the law to an officer. Or whether in your view, this amounts to an attempt to influence the outcome of an investigation.

“In all your years of policing, Mr Jacob, tell us, does this course of conduct not amount to an attempt to pervert or defeat the course of public justice and should there not be an investigation?”

She added, “Whether it is the son of a politician or anybody else that breaks the law, these matters must be investigated.

“They cannot trample upon the rights of people and deprive them of representation for over a year on the basis of covid, as they have done to the people of Debe South, but bend rules to allow 100 people to gather on a boat and if that isn’t bad enough try to influence the investigation.”

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