Cop in witness protection sues over removal of security detail at safehouse

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Justice Frank Seepersad

A woman police constable who agreed to turn state witness against six of her colleagues was forced to file an emergency application for the immediate reinstatement of a security detail at the safe house after she was left without protection for over a week.

The matter came up last Wednesday before Justice Frank Seepersad who said it was not a matter that should proceed in adversarial form. He adjourned it to December 7 to allow the officer’s attorneys to file and serve all proceedings on the Commissioner of Police and the Minister of National Security.

The officer, who is on suspension, turned state witness in 2012 after she and the others had been charged with the murder of three people. She has also filed a lawsuit against the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for failing to continue plea discussions with her for financial support after the trial.

An indictment was filed against her in 2018, and the matter came up before a High Court master but the police officer complained that several aspects of the plea deal were not completed although she was prepared to plead guilty. In those proceedings, she was granted permission to pursue her judicial review and constitutional claim against the DPP and the Attorney General.’

In her latest lawsuit, the officer, who is in the custody of the Justice Protection Programme, said the security detail at the safe house, where she has been for the past 11 years, was removed on November 18.

She also complained there have been threats to her life and the police have not been investigating them.

In the application, the officer said no reason was given for the removal of the security detail and she had been left to fend for herself.

She also said although another judge, Justice Kevin Ramcharan, on November 25 ordered the immediate reinstatement of a security detail at the safe house, it was only 24 hours later that officers returned.

“My security detail was reinstated almost 24 hours after the respondents were served with the court’s interim injunction order mandating the immediate reinstatement of same.

“It is evident that the respondents continue to flout their duties owed in law which forms the basis of my application for leave before this court.”

The officer is seeking permission for the court to review the decisions of the commissioner and the minister over their alleged failure to abide by their duties under the Justice Protection Act.

She is represented by attorneys Michael Rooplal, Kristy Mohan, Vishan Girwar and Gisanne Ramjit.

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