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Police corporal charged with assaulting Guardian photographer

Published: 
Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Corporal Billy Ramsundar has been charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm against Guardian photographer Kristian De Silva, a police statement said Wednesday.

He is also charged with malicious damage of a Canon camera valued US$1600.

The charges arise from an alleged incident at Nazim Ave San Francique, Penal on September 15, 2017.

He will appear before a POS Magistrate where the matter will be transferred to the Siparia Court.

The charges were laid by Supt Ruthven Hodge of the Police Complaints Division.

De Silva had told police that he was attacked while trying to take photos of the A&V Oil and Gas compound in Penal.

De Silva said he had gone to the compound to follow-up on the latest developments involving A&V Oil and Gas.

He said that while on Nazim Avenue he was attempting to take photographs for the Trinidad Guardian newspaper when a man approached him in a pick-up vehicle.

De Silva said the driver of the vehicle drove straight at him in what appeared to be an attempt to hit him.

He said a man then came out of the vehicle and hit him in his face, injuring his mouth in the process.

De Silva said another man then hit him on the side of his face.

The impact of the blows caused De Silva's eye-glasses to fall, following which one of the men stamped on it.

His news camera was also badly damaged in the attack.

De Silva said he identified himself as a Trinidad Guardian photographer but said one of the men reacted in an abusive manner, accusing him of being on private property.

De Silva said he had earlier verified with a security guard that the roadway, where he was standing, was not private property. 

He sought medical attention at the Penal Health Facility before making a report to the police.