Hanif Nazim Baksh, personal friend of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and CEO of A&V Oil and Gas Ltd, appeared yesterday in the Siparia Magistrates’ court on two charges of assault Guardian photographer Kristian De Silva and damaging his spectacles on September 15.
Baksh, the father of Government Senator Allyson Baksh, appeared in court along with her husband Cpl Billy Ramsundar. Baksh, 55, had to wait idly in court for three hours as the charge documents were not brought from Besson Street Police Station in Port of Spain to the Siparia courts.
Baksh, an oil and gas lease operator on Petrotrin’s on land Catshill field, chatted with his attorney Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, SC, and friends. Members of the public greeted Baksh and extended best wishes to him. Baksh and Ramsundar also chatted with journalists. He had turned himself into the Besson Street station on Thursday where he was charged and granted $80,000 bail.
Ramsundar, a policeman for 20 years, was charged on Wednesday by Ag Supt Ruthven Hunte of the Professional Standards Bureau. He was also granted $80,000 bail. Baksh and Ramsundar, sat next to each other on the bench facing the bar table and Magistrate Ava Vandenberg-Bailey.
She read the charge to Cpl Ramsundar that on September 15, at Nazim Baksh Avenue in Penal, he committed an unlawful act of damage to De Silva’s camera valued US$1,600. A second charge alleged that he assaulted De Silva, occasioning actual bodily harm. Ramsundar was not called upon to plead to the charges.
Ramroop asked the magistrate to allow Ramsundar’s bail of $80,000 to continue and the request was granted. Attorney Krishendath Neebar stood as surety. Court prosecutor, Sgt Starr Jacob said a state attorney will be appointed to prosecute. Shortly after midday, Magistrate Vandenberg-Bailey called Baksh’s case and read two charges against him.
The first was that he assaulted De Silva occasioning actual bodily harm and the second charge was that jointly with son-in-law Cpl Ramsundar, did maliciously damage De Silva’s spectacles valued $2,400. Baksh was not called upon to plead.
Attorney Michael Rooplal announced that he was instructing Maharaj in representing Baksh. Bail for Baksh was continued in the sum of $80,000. Both men were ordered to return to court on December 11.