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Thursday 22 February 2018
News

Charge Partap

FOUR MONTHS after being brought to the Belmont Police Station and told to submit to a breathalyser test, an instruction was given yesterday by Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard for police to charge former Minister in the Ministry of National Security Colin Partap.

However, while confirming that instructions were given by the DPP, Acting Commissioner of Police (CoP) Stephen Williams yesterday declined to state to Newsday exactly what charge will be laid against Partap.

“I can confirm that the police have been given instructions for a charge to be laid against the individual, but I would prefer not to reveal the exact details of the charge at this point in time.

There is still some work that needs to be done and all will be revealed in due course,” Ag CoPWilliams told Newsday.

Pressed as to whether the charge would be brought against Partap via a summons or via a warrant, Williams replied: “Again, all will be revealed in due course. There will be transparency in the issue, but as for right now, it is still at a very sensitive stage, so we must be careful.

So for now let’s leave it at that.” Contacted last night for comment, Partap — the Cumuto/Manzanilla Member of Parliament — told Newsday that he is yet to be made aware officially that such instructions were given by the DPP, but is not surprised by the decision.

“As of right now, no, I have not been so informed that an instruction of that nature has been given. But, I am not too surprised.

I kind of expected it. I have been waiting just like everyone else the news regarding this matter, and well now here it is,” Partap said.

Partap noted that he has complete faith in the judicial system and is prepared to allow justice to take its due course. “I have said all that I wanted to say on the matter already, so all that is left right now is for justice to take its natural course,” Partap said.

On the morning of August 26, Partap was pulled over by police officers after leaving the Zen nightclub in Port-of- Spain at 5 am. Police initially reported that officers pulled Partap over after noticing blue police-like lights on Partap’s vehicle.

However, after a conversation with the then Junior Minister, the officers requested a breathalyser test be taken on the spot, which they said Partap refused.

He was subsequently taken to the Belmont Police Station, where he eventually took the test, about an hour after he was first stopped, and only after Ag CoP Williams arrived at the station.

Upon taking the breathalyser test, Partap reportedly gave a reading under the legal alcohol limit for a driver in this country — 35 microgrammes (micgr) for every 100 millilitres of breath — and was allowed to leave.

The following day, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar fired Partap as Minister in the Ministry of National Security, rendering him a backbencher, the first such MP on the Government’s bench in the Parliament.

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