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Thursday 21 March 2019
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Judge sets aside warrant for cop

A High Court judge has quashed the decision of a magistrate to issue a warrant of arrest for a policeman after he failed to go to court.

PC Dale Makoonsingh, of Five Rivers, Arouca, did not go to court on November 29 as the officer who charged three people for ammunition and marijuana possession. He said in his lawsuit that he had mixed up the dates.

Justice Ricky Rahim yesterday ruled that the decision of magistrate Aden Stroude to issue the warrant was “irrational and disproportionate,” based on the evidence.

Stroude was in court for the ruling.

The judge, who ordered the defendant to pay Makoonsingh’s legal costs, pointed out that the Magistrates Protection Act came into effect on March 7.

According to the amendments to the act, no action shall be brought against a magistrate for any act done in the execution of their office and can only be maintained where it is alleged and proved that the act was done “maliciously and without reasonable and probable cause.”

Makoonsingh’s attorneys Jagdeo Singh and Kiel Taklalsingh had argued that the magistrate unlawfully issued the warrant for their client’s arrest.

Makoonsingh said that on December 11, he received a telephone call from PC Ross of the Court and Process Branch at the Morvant Police Station, telling him she had a warrant for his arrest because he did not go to court on November 29. He was told to surrender or he would be forcibly arrested.

Makoonsingh said on December 14, he went to court, was detained by police there and taken before a magistrate.

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