The carelessness of police has led to 12 persons walking free for breaching Covid-19 Public Health Regulations.
Five local men, identified as Bruce Bowen, Christopher Wilson, Dominic Suraj, Collin Ramjohn, Marlon Hinds, along with seven Venezuelan nationals, were arrested and charged for breaching the regulations by gathering at Alicia’s Guest house in St Ann’s, on April 10.
The 12 were expected to go on trial before Magistrate Sarah De Silva on Monday afternoon, but, the police requested an adjournment, as the transfer of the investigative file was not completed.
This was to be done as the Court and Process Branch had recommended that the case be prosecuted by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) because of the public interest in it.
However, the application was challenged by De Silva, who said they had ample time to do so in a hearing, last month.
Attorneys for the accused, Renuka Rambhajan,(for the locals) and Seana Baboolal (who represented the Venezuelans) both felt that the involvement of the DPP’s Office was not required.
De Silva said that the police should have acted with urgency based on their concerns about the case and that she had to balance the interests of all the parties before her.