Woman sues Coast Guard
By AZARD ALI Saturday, June 30 2012
A CIVIL lawsuit filed by the wife of fisherman Shazad Mohammed of Charlieville who was shot while at sea and later died in hospital in 2006, allegedly by a Coast Guard officer will come up for hearing at the Hall of Justice, Port-of-Spain next week Tuesday.
The State is challenging the claim of Nalinee Ramkissoon-Mohammed who filed suit against the State for the shooting death of her husband Shazad on July 27 in 2006.
Attorneys representing Ramkissoon-Mohammed and her daughter Selina Shakirad Mohammed, will determine next Tuesday the issue of the quantum of damages.
Justice Ronnie Boodoosingh will adjudicate on the matter in which Ramkissoon-Mohammed is claiming damages as compensation for what the husband could have earned as a fisherman and forklift driver, had he been alive.
Shazad of Francis Lalla Road, Charlieville, was in a pirogue with his father Fareed Mohammed and two other occupants, fishing in the Gulf of Paria on the night of July 27, 2006.
In her lawsuit, which is being argued by attorney Kevin Ratiram, Ramkissoon-Mohammed claimed two Coast Guard vessels approached the boat, but because Shazard, his father and two other fishermen who were in the boat, could not see in the dark, they sped off.
“The deceased (Shazad Mohammed) was subsequently blinded by the lights of the approaching boats and believed the occupants were pirates because they did not identify themselves as members of the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard,” Ratiram stated in the lawsuit on behalf of Ramkissoon-Mohammed. Shazad was shot and died nine days later at hospital.
On September 1, 2006, a Coast Guard officer was charged with murder and subsequently committed to stand trial. On May 13, 2007, former Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Geoffrey Henderson, now a High Court judge, discontinued proceedings against the officer who was freed.
The lawsuit alleged that the Coast Guard officers failed to exercise a duty of care in identifying themselves, in accordance with established practices and procedures by using a loud speaker.
The State filed a defence to Ramkissoon-Mohammed’s claim.
On Tuesday when the case comes up for hearing, Ratiram will make certain submissions on damages. Attorney Jagdeo Singh, instructed by Attorney Zelica Haynes, is representing the Attorney General.