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Rajaee moved to MSP

Published: 
Monday, February 12, 2018

Prison officers at the Maximum Security Prison (MSP) are confused and disgruntled as to why high risk prisoner Rajaee Ali was transferred from the Port-of-Spain State Prison on Saturday afternoon.

They are also peeved as to why he is being guarded by soldiers on a 24-hour basis.

T&T Guardian was informed by prison officers, who wished not to be identified, that Ali was taken to the MSP at 3 pm. There was a full military escort from the Port-of-Spain jail to MSP. The escort consisted of even a decoy prison van, members of the Prison Service, Defence Force and Police Service, all heavily armed.

Ali is the son of Jamaat-al-Muslimeen Imam Hassan Ali of the Carapo Mosque.

Ali went through a thorough body search before being escorted to Building 13 where he was placed. That building, was said to be vacant as it was recently renovated. It can hold as many as 300 inmates.

Ali is in prison for allegedly murdering special prosecutor Dana Seetahal SC and conspiracy to murder radio personality Kevaughn Savory.

In 2007 he escaped from the MSP.

Up to late yesterday, Ali was still imprisoned at the building, which is now being guarded around the clock by the military personnel.

Members of the prison service’s Emergency Response Unit, who are said to be all wearing masks, are said to be standing guard on the outside.

“This is causing a big problem in MSP here…we the prison officers are questioning why this is so? Why do members of the TTDF have to be guarding within the prison walls,” one prison officer said, who wished not to be identified.

The officers also questioned why the building was not properly utilised, “an entire building to hold one prisoner now not making any sense…that making sense?

“They can use that building to house, for instance, the Venezuelans because there is a high influx of these people and they are currently, being pushed in cells with local inmates,” the prison officer said.

The officers are calling on the relevant authorities, including the Minister of National Security Edmund Dillon and Prisons Commissioner Gerard Wilson to “let good sense prevail” in this “grave issue of importance, security, safety that falls within the rights of prison officers.”

President of the Prisons Officers Association Ceron Richards said he did not know anything about the matter but added that the Ministry of National Security can allocate security as deemed necessary.

When contacted for comment Wilson said the matter was “not one to be discussed.”

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