State challenging award of $20m to nine men in Naipaul-Coolman matter

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State challenging award of $20m to nine men in Naipaul-Coolman matter

After a high court judge shocked the nation in January by awarding $20million to the nine men who were freed of the murder of businesswoman Vindra Naipaul-Coolman, due to mistake on the part of the Attorney General, the State has decided to challenge the award.

High Court Master Martha Alexander ordered the compensation for Shervon and Devon Peters, their brother Anthony Gloster, Joel Fraser, Ronald Armstrong, brothers Keida and Jameel Garcia, Marlon Trimmingham, and Antonio Charles yesterday, as she delivered her decision in their malicious prosecution case.

The group filed the lawsuit almost four years after they were freed of the charges in late May 2016.

The Office of the Attorney General entered an appearance in the case but failed to defend it, leading the group’s legal team, led by Anand Ramlogan SC, to successfully obtain a default judgement against it in January 2021.

In a media release on Monday, the AG’s office revealed the latest development.

“By way of continuing update, Senator the Honourable Reginald T.A. Armour S.C., Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs wishes to inform the public that on the advice of retained Lead Counsel Mr. Rolston Nelson SC an Application has today (yesterday) been filed in the High Court on behalf of the State in the matter of CV2020-01243 Shervon Peters & Others v The Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago, to set aside both the default judgment and the award of damages made against the State in favour of these Claimants,” it said.

It added that Attorney General Armour awaits the fixing of the date for the hearing of this Application “and remains consistent in his commitment to ensuring that the public continues to be updated on the progress of this matter.”