May Martin Joseph rest in peace. Patrick Manning’s seven-year national security minister haunted me watching the budget debated.
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Defence Force to dismiss officers on rape charge
A soldier and a member of the Air Guard Unit, accused of raping a 14-year-old schoolgirl in Rio Claro, are to be discharged “dishonourably” from the T&T the Defence Force. The announcement was made in a statement on Monday night by the civil military affairs officer of the Defence Force Major Al Alexander.
Alexander said the order to discharge the servicemen came from the Chief of Defence Staff, Brig Gen Kenrick Maharaj. “Maharaj was lucid in his instructions this afternoon, stating that they are to be discharged from the Defence Force with immediate effect,” Alexander said.
The two officers, Kurt Bradley Samaroo, 23, a soldier, Chase Kevin Ramdath, 23, of the Air Guard and his brother Chris Brent Ramdath, 21, a plumber, appeared in the Rio Claro Magistrates Court yesterday charged with rape, grievous sexual assault and detaining a female to have sexual intercourse. They were refused bail.
They were arrested on Sunday after the girl reported the incident. Court prosecutor Sgt Alexis Garcia objected to bail, saying the accused men were not traced. He also cited the seriousness of the offence. The magistrate denied them bail pending a trace and adjourned the matter to tomorrow.
Alexander’s release said the soldier was last assigned to the Defence Force Headquarters in Chaguaramas. Both officers are said to be in their 20s and had less than two years’ service. Alexander said the accused servicemen were to be discharged by order of the Chief of Defence Staff under the provision of the Defence Act Chapter 14:01 “Service no longer required”.
Alexander noted that after appearing in court the accused officers will be escorted to their homes by police and army officials. Their homes then will be searched, in their presence, for all Defence Force supplies and uniforms issued to them during their tenure. ACP Wayne Dick and ASP Neville Sankar led the investigation into the rape.