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Family claims they were “terrorised”
‘Tricked’ into accompanying police?
Alsaran, in the pre-action protocol letter stated that Tariq Mohammed was awakened around 3 am on February 8, by heavy banging at the door of his brother Wasim’s residence downstairs.
Seeing an unmarked jeep outside and fearing bandits, he told his parents to call police. His father, Shamoon Mohammed, tried, but this proved futile.
The pre-action letter stated that the family observed a group of men running up the front steps. The men, who didn’t identify themselves, began banging on the gate—which the family offered to open—then broke into the house, ordering Mohammed and his father to the ground. Both were tied up despite offering no resistance, he added.
Mohammed’s mother began shaking rapidly in fear.
Without any search warrant or identifying themselves, the men began searching the house and removing items, the pre-action letter stated.
Mohammed’s wife inquired about a warrant, “One answered in a very arrogant, affirmative manner stating it would be disclosed to them in practical time.”
Alsaran’s pre-action letter stated that after, one ASP Knott displayed a warrant referencing Mohammed for alleged possession of arms, ammunition, and explosives, and to seize any storage devices and electronic equipment.
“No arms, ammunition, andexplosives were found,” the letter added.
The pre-action letter stated Mohammed was told he needed to go to the Besson Street Police Station “to clarify what took place that morning.
Mohammed asked if this was necessary and whether he was under arrest. Knott allegedly said he wasn’t under arrest and it wasn’t mandatory for him to go however, as the kettle is ‘on the fire’ it would be best to go and settle what took place.”
The pre-action letter stated Knott’s comments puzzled Mohammed who feared for his life after officers allegedly told him: “’Had you come outside with a machete we’d have killed you!’”
According to the pre-action letter, police seized two laptops, a mobile phone, and other electronic devices. The letter claimed Mohammed was then told it was now mandatory for him to go to Besson Street station as he was required to speak with Knott’s superiors, concerning the events.
“But at no point in time over the week of detention did Mohammed engage in any discussions with ASP Knott’s superiors. My client strongly believes ASP Knott’s assertion that his superiors wished to speak to him was deliberate misrepresentation to trick/coerce him to come to the police station where he could be detained.”
The pre-action letter stated that Mohammed reluctantly went, led out of his neighbourhood by two vans of police officers. Mohammed was taken to Besson Street station, then Riverside Plaza, where he was interviewed without his attorney.
“My client wasn’t advised by officers that he had the right to remain silent... he was misled into thinking he must participate.”
Mohammed was moved to Woodbrook Police Station—which lacked space—and moved again to Belmont station.
The pre-action letter stated that the absence of Knott’s superiors confirmed Mohammed was tricked into believing he was merely going to be interviewed.
On February 9, Mohammed was told he was detained concerning an alleged terrorist plot to disrupt Carnival.
“My client went into a psychological and traumatic shock, as he had no knowledge or any involvement in such activities. He felt he was being victimized because of his past experience in Saudi Arabia where he was unlawfully detained for 16 months, then released without charge.”
Mohammed also felt he was being detained to satisfy the public that alleged perpetrators of the Carnival “plot” were detained. On February 14, Mohammed was returned to Riverside Plaza for a second interview. On his attorney’s advice, Mohammed remained silent. Police subsequently called Mohammed’s father to come and get him.
The pre-action letter stated that the police actions in allegedly misleading Mohammed—on going to the police station—and other officers who failed to identify themselves and produced no search warrant prior to their search of his residence “are tantamount to an excessive, oppressive, and arbitrary use of police power...since no incriminating evidence was discovered, his detention can rightly be classified as unlawful detention and/or false imprisonment since he was never charged with any offence.”
The pre-action letter added that while Mohammed wanted the matter settled peacefully, he’s unwilling to delay filing court action after 28 days— but Mohammed is willing to consider amicable settlement. The Attorney General’s office sources said they were examining the situation.
“Why daddy bleeding?”
When Wasim Mohammed heard banging on his door, fearing bandits, he shouted, “Leave us alone, please! Don’t come here!”
Fearing home invasion, he pushed against the door. The pre-action letter stated the unknown group “entered and Wasim received firm and violent punches to his face and nose. These punches were so forceful it immediately knocked my client to the floor...he was repeatedly kicked and shouted at.
“He was then turned onto his stomach and his hands placed behind his back and tied very tightly. He was asked in a very rough manner whether he had explosives in his apartment.
He responded in the negative, adding he’s never in his life possessed, used or owned any sort of arms, ammunition, weapons, instruments of harm or destruction.”
Up to then, the group hadn’t identified themselves as police or shown warrant, the pre-action letter stated.
“His wife was brought to the living room where she witnessed her husband tied up on the floor, bleeding from the nose.”
The men later said they were police and needed to search the premises “... after my client’s constitutional rights were already violated.”
The pre-action letter stated that Wasim’s infant son witnessed him tied up on the floor, blood flowing onto the ground from his nose. The child asked, “Mummy what happened to Daddy? Daddy are you OK?”
After searching ensued, Wasim’s restraints were removed. The pre-action letter stated one policeman dampened a tissue with water from the kitchen sink, gave it to Wasim and instructed him to place it on his bleeding nose.
“My client was so traumatized, he was afraid to ask the men if he could be allowed to change his child’s pampers.”
After all the searches and other issues, a paper—purportedly a warrant—was “flashed” before Wasim allegedly by ASP Knott who said, “Nothing illegal or of any interest was found in his apartment or in the premises. Another officer (allegedly Wilson) said, “Sorry for the inconvenience.”
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