Aboud granted $.4 million bail, spends night in remand

A busi­ness­man has been grant­ed $475,000 bail af­ter ap­pear­ing in court on firearm and drug pos­ses­sion charges. 

Michael Patrick Aboud, 38, of Cy­press Boule­vard, San Fer­nan­do, ap­peared be­fore Mag­is­trate Aden Stroude in the Port-of-Spain Mag­is­trates’ Court, yes­ter­day, to an­swer five crim­i­nal charges. 

 

Aboud, who op­er­ates a cloth­ing store in down­town Port-of-Spain, was charged with pos­ses­sion of two pieces of ap­pa­ra­tus mod­i­fied for co­caine con­sump­tion; pos­ses­sion of three mar­i­jua­na cig­a­rettes and for pos­ses­sion of a 9 mm firearm and 15 rounds of am­mu­ni­tion. 

Aboud plead­ed not guilty to the drug charges but was not called up­on to plead to the firearm and am­mu­ni­tion charges as he elect­ed to have those heard in the High Court be­fore a judge as op­posed to hav­ing them con­tin­ue be­fore Stroude. 

The il­le­gal items were al­leged­ly found as of­fi­cers of the Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Re­sponse Team (SORT), led by Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Gary Grif­fith, ex­e­cut­ed a search war­rant at a res­i­den­tial prop­er­ty at Alexan­dria Street in St Clair, owned by Aboud’s fam­i­ly, last Fri­day. 

Dur­ing the hear­ing, po­lice pros­e­cu­tor Sgt Azard Ali said that Aboud did not fall un­der the pro­vi­sions of the Bail Amend­ment Act, which pre­cludes bail to re­peat of­fend­ers charged firearm of­fences. 

 

Ali ex­plained that Aboud’s crim­i­nal record trac­ing showed that he had two pend­ing cas­es from 1998 for re­sist­ing ar­rest and us­ing ob­scene lan­guage and an­oth­er from 2017 for drunk dri­ving.

Af­ter mak­ing fur­ther checks in the court’s com­put­er data­base, Ali in­formed Stroude that Aboud had ad­di­tion­al charges from last year for as­sault oc­ca­sion­ing ac­tu­al bod­i­ly harm and for chok­ing with in­tent. 

Re­spond­ing to Ali, Aboud’s lawyer Fa­reed Ali (no re­la­tion) asked that the court not place much em­pha­sis on the charges from 1998 as they oc­curred when he was a teenag­er. 

Ali al­so claimed that Aboud was placed on a bond af­ter he was con­vict­ed of the dri­ving of­fence. 

“It is not a pat­tern of be­hav­iour. He in­tends to lit­i­gate the mat­ter and has no in­ten­tion to flee,” Ali said. He al­so not­ed that Aboud had to be tak­en to the Port-of-Spain Gen­er­al Hos­pi­tal for treat­ment, sev­er­al times dur­ing his stint in po­lice cus­tody.

As part of the con­di­tions of his bail, Aboud was or­dered to re­port to the San Fer­nan­do Po­lice Sta­tion three times a week for the du­ra­tion of his case. 

Ali then sought to con­vince Stroude to vary his or­der as he claimed that his client would have dif­fi­cul­ty in ac­cess­ing the bail as he did not own prop­er­ty. 

Stroude de­nied the re­quest as he as­sured Ali he would con­sid­er the ap­pli­ca­tion if Aboud does not ac­cess bail by the next hear­ing. 

Be­fore ad­journ­ing the case to De­cem­ber 4, Stroude gave po­lice pros­e­cu­tors and in­ves­ti­ga­tors dead­lines for dis­clos­ing wit­ness state­ments to Aboud’s lawyer and to sub­mit the il­le­gal items to the Foren­sic Sci­ence Cen­tre in St James for test­ing. 

Aboud was ex­pect­ed to spend the night on re­mand as the hear­ing con­clud­ed a short time be­fore the court was sched­uled to close for the day.

Reporter: Derek Achong

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