The Opposition Leader the Honourable Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP, has written to CARICOM Secretary General Dr Carla Barnett, and copied to CARICOM Chairman, the Honourable Philip Davis, and Executive Director, CARICOM IMPACS, Lt. Col. Michael Jones, re the illegal abduction of a TT citizen, Brent Thomas in Barbados on October 5th, 2022.
In her letter, Mrs Persad-Bissessar indicated that:
1. This is a matter of grave concern and importance to the region, which has created worrying anxiety in the public in both Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados and is severely undermining public trust and confidence in institutions, related state agencies and leadership.
2. It is clear from the judgement delivered by the Honourable Justice Devindra Rampersad in the High Court of Trinidad and Tobago on April 25th, 2023, and from the Ministerial Statement by the Honourable Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs of Barbados, Mr Dale Marshall issued on May 9th, 2023, that serious issues arise including the extra-judicial exercise of coercive powers by the law enforcement agencies of both nations.
3. Of particular interest is that no extradition request was initiated by the authorities in Trinidad and Tobago for Mr Thomas; prompting Mr Marshall to acknowledge that the Barbados Police Service have fallen short of applicable legal norms.
4. The Government of Trinidad and Tobago has so far denied any involvement and no information has been forthcoming to the citizenry.
5. Given that two regional bodies – the Regional Security System (the RSS) and the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) are allegedly involved in this matter, the attention and engagement of CARICOM are required.
Mrs Persad-Bissessar further indicated in her letter that, “We need your guidance on a policy framework that supports the rule of law, respects the sovereignty of our independent nations while ensuring public and citizen safety and respect for their constitutional rights.”
The Opposition Leader urged CARICOM to examine this matter and comment on the implications of such unprecedented actions for the region.
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