Soldier held in deadly heist complains of 'arbitrary' detention

Police and crime scene investigators process the crime scene of a murder and attempted robbery at Pennywise Plaza, La Romain on Monday night. Photo by Marvin Hamilton
Police and crime scene investigators process the crime scene of a murder and attempted robbery at Pennywise Plaza, La Romain on Monday night. Photo by Marvin Hamilton

ATTORNEYS for the soldier in custody in relation to Tuesday’s deadly heist in La Romaine have written to acting Police Commissioner McDonald Jacob complaining of his “arbitrary” detention.

Attorneys from the firm Criston J Williams and Company said on Thursday the 24-year-old soldier was yet to be interviewed since his arrest on September 19, when he went to report that  five armed men has stolen his vehicle.

The soldier, who is assigned to a base in La Romaine, is being detained at the San Fernando CID.

Two security guards with Allied Security Ltd, who were transporting money from Pennywise Cosmetics' La Romaine, branch, were killed by five men who ambushed them and their colleagues. One of the guards, Peola Baptiste, is critically ill in hospital. Those who died were Jeffery Peters and Jerry Stuart.

Police later caught up with the armed robbers, killing four. The police have identified them as Kyle and his brother Keyon "Bush" Ramdhan of Delhi Road, Greg Dodough and Deaundre "Monty" Montrose, all of Fyzabad.

Williams said the soldier, who is also from Fyzabad, could be released to the Army’s custody.

In response, police legal officer Tsonda Gayle denied the soldier’s detention was arbitrary, insisting it was reasonable and justified.

Instead, Gayle said the active investigation was likely to be unduly affected by “unnecessary disturbances” such as responding to pre-action protocol letters, causing further delays.

Gayle also said Williams’s letter could be perceived as intimidation, and reminded that the police should be allowed the free opportunity to investigate without unnecessary haste to reduce error and ensure fairness to all.

Gayle also said only 33 hours had elapsed since the soldier’s arrest.

In another letter sent on Thursday, Williams demanded all station diary extracts and any records relating to their client as well as whether there were plans to put their client on an identification parade.

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