Errol Gooptar

Expenses exceeded $13,000: Errol Gooptar displays avocados for sale in San Fernando. Gooptar spoke to the Express on Wednesday about the amount he paid in legal fees after being charged with robbery. —Photo: TREVOR WATSON

“I SAY I was on a murder charge, the kind of money I paid my ­lawyer.” That lament came from Errol Gooptar, who was charged with robbery in 2016. Payments to his attorney began after their first encounter at the cell at the police station. “He took $1,500 to see me in the holding cell, to make sure everything was in order,” Gooptar recalled.

It took another $1,500 the first time the matter was called before the Magistrates’ Court and the ­lawyer spoke on his behalf. A successful bail application was made and Gooptar was released from custody. The fruit vendor then changed attorneys. “The matter called about six or seven times. The lawyer came about three times,” Gooptar said in an interview with the Express on Wednesday.

RECOMMENDED FOR YOU

THE first tremor of an earthquake within the People’s National Movement (PNM) Tobago leadership took place last night, when Tracy Davidson-Celestine became the first female political leader of the PNM’s Tobago Island Council, dethroning Kelvin Charles in the historic run-off.

Calypso veteran Trinidad Rio (Daniel Brown) says he has collected his Carifesta payment.

“Yes I got paid,” an abrupt Rio told the Express yesterday via phone.

Rio caused a stir last Friday night when he put Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly on the spot about the payment at the opening of the Back 2 Basics calypso tent, at Roslyn Hall, Auzonville Road, Tunapuna.