Speaking in Mayaro after a toy distribution ceremony at BP grounds where hundreds of children received gifts, Persad-Bissessar was at first hesitant to speak about Montano who on Monday was found guilty of four counts of assault and one count of using obscene language during a brawl near the Zen nightclub in Port-of-Spain five years ago.
“I think it would be inappropriate for me to comment as the case is not yet finished in the courts,” she said. Montano and fellow performing artiste Kernel Roberts (son of deceased calypso icon Aldwyn “Lord Kitchener” Roberts) are to return in January to hear what their punishment would be. Two other performers, were found not guilty.
But pressed further to give a more definitive comment, the Prime Minister said, “I am very sorry for what has happened. I think he is a great musical icon. We all agree on that. I still admire his talent. But if you break the law, you must be prepared to face and deal with the consequences,” Persad-Bissessar said. She added that she would say no more as the matter may still go to the Higher Courts if parties involved decide to appeal the court’s decisions.
Asked about Montano’s endorsements of products and services by State companies, she said it would be up to those companies to make their own decisions. “I don’t think it is proper for a Prime Minister to intervene in such a matter. If he has been endorsed let’s say TSTT, then the TSTT board will have to decide on that,” Persad-Bissessar said.