A safety officer who won his kidnapping, robbery and assault lawsuit against police officers has written the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) over the status of criminal charges against the policemen.
In his correspondence on Tuesday to the DPP, Clint Attong reminded that the incident occurred almost ten years ago.
Attong was successful in his lawsuit against the officers, the State and his boss back in 2019, with the judge directing that the transcripts from the matter and the judgment be sent to the DPP and the Commissioner of Police (CoP) for determination into whether criminal charges should be instituted against constables Murray Mohammed and Ronnie Edwards and disciplinary charges against Mohammed.
He had also ordered that Mohammed repay $5,000 from his own pocket within 48 hours to Attong.
In his letter to the DPP, Attong alleged that at least one of the officers is still an active member of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS). He informed that last week he contacted the DPP’s office in San Fernando and “it appears as though the office is not aware of my matter”.
He called for proper information and justice and added: “This year, October 29, 2021, will make it ten years since I was a victim of kidnapping, robbery and assault and still no justice.”
Attong said in the past, he had contacted and e-mailed the Police Complaints Authority (PCA), the TTPS Professional Standards Bureau (PSB), the Attorney General’s south office, the Police Commissioner, the Prime Minister and the President. The Express was told on Wednesday that while the order was sent to the relevant department at the court, there was no record that the information was forwarded to the DPP.
Attong had also written the Law Association’s disciplinary committee in August last year over his allegation that a lawyer omitted one of the defendants when the matter was filed before the court. He said he is awaiting feedback on this.
In court documents filed in his lawsuit, Attong had stated that after learning of a plan to hurt his boss, Premchan Sookram, and another person, he told Sookram about it and agreed to meet him on October 29, 2011 in Rio Claro.
Attong said while waiting, a car pulled in front of him and Edwards placed a gun on the hood and told him not to move and his two cellphones were taken by Mohammed.
He said he was handcuffed and later placed in the back seat of a van driven by Sookram. He said while heading to the Mayaro police station he was punched in the face by Mohammed, who also took $5,000 from his pants pocket.
At the police station, Attong said he was beaten about the body with a PVC hose while still handcuffed. He said he was struck on his back and hands by Mohammed and another man while Edwards looked on.
Sookram, Attong said, hit him in his face with his leather slipper. He further stated that Mohammed struck him with a stick with a bulge and also had a firearm placed in front of him as he was threatened to sign a piece of paper. He signed the paper and before he ran out of the police station after his five-hour ordeal, items were returned to him but not his $5,000.
Mohammed had said in his defence that when Attong came to the station and said he knew of a plot to kidnap his boss’s son for ransom, he asked him if he was involved and told him he might be arrested because of the plot. He said Attong gave his statement and left the police station.
Sookram said in his affidavit that the only involvement on October 29, 2011 was identifying Attong to the police and assisting to take them to the Mayaro police station.
In delivering the judgment in 2019, Seepersad had stated: “The factual matrix which unfolded and the fact-finding that the court engaged in in this matter instils in this court a sense of grave disquiet and alarm. I am appalled that to date no disciplinary action has been taken against PC Murray Mohammed.
“I am even more appalled that no decision has been taken as to whether or not to charge this officer with criminal offences, particularly the offence of kidnapping and robbery, and I will direct the registrar of the Supreme Court to send the transcript of these proceedings and of this court’s judgment to the Director of Public Prosecutions and to the Commissioner of Police for their determination as to whether, respectively, criminal charges should be instituted against Murray Mohammed and Edwards and whether disciplinary charges...ought to be laid against Murray Mohammed.”
The award for damages to Attong was to be assessed by a master of the court.