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Partap will return to court April 9
Former Minister in the Ministry of National Security Collin Partap reappeared in court yesterday accompanied by his parents, Harry and Nazra Partap, and his brothers. The elder Partap, who arrived in T&T last week to attend a conference, is expected to leave for South Africa next week. A former journalist, Harry Partap is T&T’s High Commissioner to South Africa. Collin said his parents chose to attend court to show their support of him.
Partap was fired by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar six months ago, hours after he was stopped by police on leaving a Port-of-Spain nightclub. He first appeared before Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar on January 24 and pleaded not guilty to the charge that on August 26, 2012, at the corner of Keate and Frederick Streets, Port-of-Spain, he being the driver of vehicle PCM 1016, without reasonable excuse failed to provide a breath specimen to a police constable when requested. He is the MP for Cumuto/Manzanilla.
Partap reappeared before Magistrate Cheron Raphael in the absence of Ayers-Caesar. Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams, who charged Partap, also attended yesterday’s hearing. Partap’s lead attorney Israel Khan asked for a trial date to be set. Saying she was unable to set a trial date, as she was not the resident magistrate, Raphael suggested two dates in late March and early April.
State prosecutor George Busby said he would return from vacation on April 8 and assured Khan he would personally deliver all statements to Khan’s chambers. The court suggested the matter be adjourned to April 9. Both defence and prosecution agreed to that date.
Partap was charged under Section 70B (5) of the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic (Amendment) Act of 2007 which says: “Where a person, without reasonable excuse, fails to provide a specimen of breath under sub-section (1), (3), (4) or (8) he is guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of $8,000 or to imprisonment for three years."
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