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Monday 19 February 2018
Crime and Court

TSTT ‘frustrating’ prosecution in Rajaee Ali case

TSTT ‘frustrating’ prosecution in Rajaee Ali case

Prosecutors are being frustrated in the preliminary inquiry for the conspiracy to murder charge against former LifeSport co-ordinator Rajaee Ali and five others.

The prosecution is trying to close its case but is having problems getting state-owned TSTT to “satisfactorily” comply with a court order for information.

The complaint was made yesterday after presiding magistrate Ejenny Espinet asked Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions George Busby about the prosecution’s final witness in the case.

Busby said the prosecution was unable to get a “satisfactory response” from TSTT to a court order dated December 4, 2017.

He said this has “frustrated efforts” to have the last witness – a police officer from the police’s Cyber Crime Unit – complete his statement, which, he said, was 98 per cent done.

“It will be completed if we have a satisfactory response from TSTT...It is of critical importance as it corroborates one part of the evidence.”

Busby said the prosecution could close its case without the information, but he did not want to do so, since the information was “very important” to the case.

He expressed the hope that TSTT will provide the information before next week Friday, when Espinet is expected to go on pre-retirement leave. Busby said he also indicated this to TSTT in his correspondence to them.

He said the court orders were served on both TSTT and Digicel about cell phones – eight from Digicel and one from TSTT– which are part of the evidence in the case. They were tendered during yesterday’s sitting in the Port of Spain Magistrates Court.

Also tendered was a search warrant.

Graeme Suite, senior manager of public relations and external affairs at TSTT, in an e-mailed response, told Newsday, “Given that this matter is still being heard before the courts, TSTT has no comment to make at this time.”

Also yesterday, a police officer was questioned and cross-examined by defence lawyer Criston J Williams.

Ali, his brother Ishmael Ali, Keshon Dempster, Brandon Borneo, Brent LaCroix and Donna Dyer are before the court on charges under the Anti-Gang Act, possession of arms and ammunition to endanger life, and conspiracy to murder radio DJ Kevaughn “Lurbz” Savory.

All the offences are alleged to have taken place on November 27, 2014, in Port of Spain. Ali and his brother Ishmael are also charged with nine others for the May 4, 2014, murder of Senior Counsel Dana Seetahal.

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