Former prime minister and president Arthur NR Robinson and former national security minister, Selwyn Richardson, were tied together face down by their legs in the Red House during the attempted coup in July 1990. Both men were also shot at the same time by Muslimeen insurgent in charge, Bilal Abdullah. Richardson's injury was worse. This was disclosed by former health minister at the time, Dr Emmanuel Hosein, as he gave evidence before the commission of enquiry into the events surrounding the attempted coup at the Caribbean Court of Justice in Port-of-Spain yesterday.
Hosein recalled: "Abdullah told Robinson to tell the soldiers outside to call off the attack or he'll throw the ministers, one by one, over the balcony." Robinson resisted with his famous, "Attack with full force!" command, and Abdullah reportedly said: "You have no regard for the lives of your ministers" and fired two shots at Robinson and Richardson's legs, Hosein said. "They started to groan in pain," he added.
Hosein, who said he went around tending to the gunshot wounds of parliamentarians and Muslimeen rebels, said Robinson's wound didn't seem very serious at the time.
"Richardson was shot just below the hip on the thigh and the bullet could have ruptured major vessels and he could have suffered internal bleeding." Hosein said they had bandages and painkillers in the Red House and a Muslimeen member who had been trained as a nurse assisted him in tending to the wounded until they were released and sent to the hospital.
Leo des Vignes, another parliamentarian, had a big gaping wound and a massive clot, Hosein said. He said he did not interfere with des Vignes because the clot prevented him from bleeding to death. He said the wounded included a young Muslimeen rebel who had shot himself in the foot. A sniper from the outside had also shot another Muslimeen insurgent in the hip. He said he and Abdullah attended St Mary's College together and they had a conversation about a mutual friend.