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Volney’s story under question
Tobago police say they have no report of an incident last weekend involving a Ministry of Justice employee at the Le Gran Courland Hotel and Spa. The claim is a stark contrast to Justice Minister Herbert Volney’s explanation to the T&T Guardian on Friday of why he was seen in conversation with businessman Ish Galbaransingh, hours before Galbaransingh’s lawyers petitioned the High Court to drop fraud charges against him arising out of the Piarco Airport scandal.
The move followed the proclamation of Section 34 of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act 2011, which paved the way for certain accused to walk free. The controversial section of the act has since been repealed. Volney said Galbaransingh approached him to ask for his assistance in getting police to respond to an incident in which a man tried to break into the room of the ministry employee.
Opposition MP Colm Imbert hinted in Parliament last week that the two men had been seen drinking champagne together at the hotel. But Volney said he was drinking water, and was on a retreat at the hotel with 125 Justice Ministry staff. He said Galbaransingh asked him for help because the police had refused to get involved, and had said, “You all have your bigshots there and you should have your own security.”
However, telephone calls by the Sunday Guardian yesterday to the Old Grange, Moriah, Roxborough and Charlotteville police stations left more questions than answers as police claimed that no such incident had been reported. At the Old Grange police station, which is also the deployment centre for Tobago and responsible for the Moriah, Scarborough and Crown Point areas, there was no record of the report.
WPC acting sergeant Fraser Ramsey told the Sunday Guardian: "We have absolutely no knowledge of that incident. We do not have any reports on that incident. “If someone called we would have known. I have not seen any report of that nature in our records. If such an incident was reported I would have known." A similar claim was also made at the Moriah Police Station.
There an officer who identified herself as WPC Walters said: "Our shift worked on Sunday. We relieved the shift on Saturday and that report was not relayed to us. “I read nothing about no incident about any hotel. I read nothing about it in the telephone message book. All reports that are taken here are sent to Old Grange police station via telephone." Galbaransingh is jointly charged with businessman Steve Ferguson and others with attempting to defraud the State of millions of dollars.
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