Last update: 07-Dec-2013 3:12 am
Saturday, December 07, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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After third arrest Kublalsingh vows to continue protest
As Highway Re-Route Movement leader Wayne Kublalsingh left the Siparia Magistrates Court yesterday he vowed to return to the Mon Desir highway site to stop construction work. He made his third court appearance in a month on charges stemming from attempts to block tractors from grading lands for the San Fernando to Point Fortin highway to pass through Mon Desir. He and four other people, including three women, were arrested and charged on Wednesday. Kublalsingh, Suresh Chaitoo, Roshmi Mahabir, 38, Gita Boodhai, 55, and Lealawatie Boodai were taken before a Justice of the Peace on Wednesday afternoon and were placed on bail, totalling $40,000.
They were released from police custody on Wednesday night. Yesterday they pleaded not guilty before Magistrate Taramatee Ramdass. Kublalsingh, who faces two charges, resisting arrest and obstructing PC David Jones in the execution of his duties, is on $10,000 bail. His attorney Lennox Sankersingh submitted that the matter was in the public domain for a long while and issues of national importance were at stake. He said: “Essentially in the magistrates court what the defendants have been relying on will be that there are constitutional matters involved and by law the magistrate has a duty to refer the matters to the High Court once constitutional matters are raised.” He noted that there were constitutional issues, relating to the highway construction, pending in the High Court.
Outside the courthouse, Kublalsingh promised to be back on the site today, saying he has no fear about being arrested again. He was arrested twice last month for similar offences and is on bail on those matters. “We are planning to go back on site to stop any kind of activity there which incurses on the Debe to Mon Desir highway segment,” he added. He said the battle was not just about residents but a battle for the soul and for the heart of development. Chaitoo and Leelawatie Boodai, who are charged with resisting arrest and obstruction, are also on $10,000 bail. Mahabir and Gita Boodhai, who are charged with obstructing WPC Lisa Agostini in the execution of her duties, are on $5,000 bail. The matters were adjourned to December 4.
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