Courts

UNC loses election petitions appeal

The United National Congress (UNC) has lost its novel challenge over the dismissal of its election petitions for five marginal seats in the 2015 General Elections.

Delivering a 43-page judgement at the Hall of Justice in Port-of-Spain, this morning, Appellate Judges Justice Gregory Smith, Justice Mark Mohammed, and Justice Peter Rajkumar dismissed the appeal, in which the Opposition party was seeking to overturn the decision of another three-member appeal panel. That panel had upheld the decision of High Court Judge Mira Dean-Armourer to dismiss the petitions in October 2016.

AG’s Office: Judge alone trials speeding up justice system

Judge alone trials are ensuring that justice is no longer delayed, and dispensed swiftly.

According to a release issued by the Office of the Attorney General, the most recent judge-alone trial was conducted on Friday 31st January 2020, at the San Fernando High Court.

High Court: importing sex toys not unlawful

An E-commerce consultant has won his lawsuit against the Comptroller of the Customs and Excise Division over the seizure of a sex doll.

Delivering a judgement at the Hall of Justice in Port-of-Spain, this morning, High Court Judge Ricky Rahim ruled that the Division's decision to implement a policy that any sex toy, which closely resembles the male or female genitals, is a prohibited for being indecent or absence, was unlawful.

Eight people charged for Sexual Offences in CPU, SORT Operation

The Child Protection Unit (CPU) is strongly urging citizens with information on child abuse to report it to the nearest police station, or to the CPU, to ensure that an investigation into such cases are launched immediately.

The renewed appeal comes as seven men and one woman were nabbed in an intelligence-led exercise over the weekend, by officers of the Child Protection Unit (CPU), the Special Operations Response Team (SORT) and the Tobago Task Force.

Sedition charge against Watson Duke dismissed

The sedition charge against Public Services' Association (PSA) President, Watson Duke, has been dismissed.

Chief Magistrate Maria Busby-Earle-Caddle opted to discharge Duke as he reappeared before her in the Port-of-Spain Magistrate's Court, a short while ago.

State prosecutors had requested that Busby-Earle-Caddle adjourn the case, after a preliminary hearing of the State's appeal over Justice Frank Seepersad's judgement, in which he struck down aspects of the Sedition Act. The hearing is carded for February 3.

Top Cop: Police officers entering courts must be scanned too

The Police Commissioner has issued a directive that all police officers entering court buildings must walk through the scanners there.

It comes on the heels of an incident on Tuesday, in which a police officer arrested a court security officer who had advised him of the scanner procedure and refused to follow the protocol. The court security officer was detained for several hours at the Mayaro Police Station.

Probing body claims cover up in Darryl Smith case

Cov­er up! That is one of the ma­jor find­ings of the re­port of a com­mit­tee set up by Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley to in­ves­ti­gate the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the dis­missal and pay­ment of $150,000 to a former em­ploy­ee of the Min­istry of Sport and Youth Af­fairs, af­ter she al­leged that she was sex­u­al­ly ha­rassed by the for­mer min­is­ter Dar­ryl Smith.

MERRITT: “Darryl Smith NDA may not be valid…”

Criminal law attorney, Mario Merritt, believes the non-disclosure agreement signed between former sports minister Darryl Smith and the person who accused him of sexual harassment, may not be valid.

He says this is because an NDA cannot be used to cover-up an actual crime.

“The law prohibits contracts that are against public policy. If you’re dealing with a normal trade dispute, it’s not a problem,” he explains. “But if you are using an NDA to hide a criminal act, then that agreement is void; it has no value. You can’t use a contractual relationship to allow crime.”

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