Judge: Magistrate wrong to issue warrant for cop

Friday, March 15, 2019 - 05:30

A po­lice of­fi­cer has won his law­suit chal­leng­ing a de­ci­sion of a mag­is­trate to is­sue a war­rant for his ar­rest af­ter he failed to at­tend a hear­ing of a case.

De­liv­er­ing a judge­ment at the Hall of Jus­tice in Port-of-Spain on Thurs­day, Jus­tice Ricky Rahim ruled that Mag­is­trate Aden Stroude act­ed un­law­ful­ly and un­rea­son­ably when he is­sued the war­rant against PC Dale Makoon­s­ingh last year.

Ac­cord­ing to the ev­i­dence in the case, Stroude is­sued the war­rant af­ter Makoon­s­ingh, an of­fi­cer as­signed to the In­ter-Agency Task Force (IATF), failed to at­tend the hear­ing of an am­mu­ni­tion and mar­i­jua­na pos­ses­sion case be­fore him on No­vem­ber 29 last year.

Makoon­s­ingh claimed he mixed up the date of the hear­ing and was on du­ty when the case was called by Stroude.

He learned of the war­rant af­ter PC Ross of the Court and Process Branch con­tact­ed him on De­cem­ber 11 and re­quest­ed he sur­ren­der or be forcibly ar­rest­ed.

Three days lat­er, Makoon­s­ingh vis­it­ed the Port-of-Spain Mag­is­trates' Court and was de­tained. Makoon­s­ingh was re­leased af­ter he ap­peared be­fore Mag­is­trate In­di­ra Misir-Go­sine and gave the rea­son for his pre­vi­ous un­ex­plained ab­sence.

Rahim was ex­pect­ed to re­lease a writ­ten copy of his judge­ment on Thurs­day but may have been ham­pered by a fire scare at the Hall of Jus­tice, which cur­tailed the hear­ings of oth­er cas­es sched­uled be­fore him.

Makoon­s­ingh was rep­re­sent­ed by Jagdeo Singh, Di­nesh Ram­bal­ly, Kiel Tak­lals­ingh and Ste­fan Ramkissoon.

Reporter: Derek Achong