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Thursday 19 July 2018
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Abdullah: Ferry woes affecting prisoners

Umar Abdullah of the Islamic Front.

HEAD of the Islamic Front, Umar Abdullah is convinced that the woes on the seabridge, which have affected transport from Port of Spain to Scarborough, are also affecting prisoners whose cases have to be heard in Tobago.

“Since July 2017, no prisoners have been taken to the Tobago courts,” said Abdullah yesterday in a press conference at the Black Agenda Building, Prizgar Lands Road and Old St Joseph Road.

“The reasons police are giving for not bring prisoners to court are linked to the problems on the seabridge,” he said, pointing to news reports on the issue.

“Well, we have also seen in the news Coast Guard vessels being used to transport Venezuelan nationals back to their country and we have also seen on the news where our past Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar used the National Security helicopter to transport entertainer Machel Montano to a beach fete in Tobago.

“We are suggesting, in the past prisoners were brought to court on the fast ferry, the cargo vessel, the Coast Guard vessel, the National Security Helicopter and a private plane – why isn’t the police using these alternative options?”

Abdullah said simple measures could be put in place to alleviate the woes of the prisoners.

He suggested that Trinidadian prisoners who have cases in Tobago could be housed in a Tobago prison and the prisoners in the Tobago prison whose cases have not started in the High Court could return to Trinidad and use video conferencing for their hearing.

Yesterday, Newsday was told the TT Spirit which had been drydocked for several months, sailed without issue.


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