Denyse Renne

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Blame Covid-19 for the delay.

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago has filed a defence in the helicopter matter involving Vertical Aviation (VA) Limited in a US court.

The defence was filed through New York-based law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer US LLP.

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Former head of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Ramesh Lutchmedial says the Sikorsky S76D helicopter did not have the relevant certification to be flown in this country and therefore had to remain grounded.

Contacted by the Sunday Express on January 4 and asked why the helicopter leased by the previous government never took to the skies, he said it “was never registered in the State Registry to the best of my knowledge”.

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ATTORNEY GENERAL Faris Al-Rawi says multi-million dollar litigation before the New York Supreme Court involving the lease of a helicopter from Vertical Aviation LLC by the former government, “has nothing to do with Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith”.

Al-Rawi made the statement on December 22 at a news conference held at his Port of Spain office, when asked by the Express whether the State had entered a defence in the lawsuit of the aviation company which is seeking close to US$13 million ($88 million) in compensation from the T&T government for breach of contract for a helicopter under the People’s Partnership government led by Kamla Persad-Bissessar in 2014.

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The contractual agreement was such that in the case of a breach by the Government, taxpayers would be exposed to multi-million-dollar lawsuits.

Such an agreement was signed off in 2014 by former prime minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, then-national security minister Gary Griffith and former attorney general Anand Ramlogan.

Trinidad and Tobago is known globally for its rich multicultural and multi-faceted traditions.

But, nestled in the heart of T&T’s diverse culture are its unique folklore tales, which some say are influenced from West Africa’s spiritual beliefs and practices.

Such tales include the Silk Cotton Tree, Soucouyant, La Diablesse, Papa Bois and many others which have remained lodged in childhood memories and passed on from generation to generation through word of mouth or books.

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AN Irish company is seeking close to US$13 million ($88 million) in compensation from the Trinidad and Tobago government for breach of contract for a helicopter under the Kamla Persad-Bissessar regime in 2014.

If pre-judgment and post-judgment interest are added, the figure could skyrocket to $100 million should the court rule in favour of Vertical Aviation LLC.

These are just some of the sentiments voiced within the past week by several women’s organisations and individuals of Trinidad and Tobago following the brutal murder of 18-year-old Ashanti Riley.

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A CHILD-TRAFFICKING and illegal adoption ring involving Venezuelan children is active throughout the Caribbean, with Trinidad and Tobago being at the epicentre.

This is stated in a confidential e-mail sent on November 26 addressed to Sandra Flores, head of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Trinidad and Tobago, by Dr Cleophas Justine Pierre, partner in the Canadian firm Dunn, Pierre, Barnett and Company Canada Ltd,

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The raid which dominated the headlines on April 10 was described as the first of its kind by the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Pictures and video footage of men and women lined up were provided by the TTPS alleging a sex party was taking place despite restrictions issued by the Ministry of Health.

The TTPS claimed the Public Health Regulations were breached by gathering in a group exceeding five people.

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A multi-million-dollar racket involving several registered firearm dealers catering to crime-worried business people willing to pay big bucks for peace of mind has been uncovered by the Sunday Express.

Among those doling out chunks of cash for Firearm User’s Licences (FULs) are private security companies and owners of well-known businesses throughout the country.

The Sunday Express investigation, which started 11 months ago, has unearthed that the licensed dealers charge their clients “processing fees” to have their FUL applications expedited.

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