Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has once again thrown her support behind Sanathan Dharma Maha Sabha Secretary General Sat Maharaj in his case against the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service.
On Friday, a High Court judge gave the Central Broadcasting Services and Maharaj clearance to sue the TTPS over its failure to disclose the warrant used to search Radio and TV Jaagriti on April 18.
On that day, the police claimed it had presented a warrant under Section 13 of the Sedition Act to the station management to acquire recordings from April 16. The raid came two days after Maharaj, during a broadcast, suggested “Tobagonians are lazy” and labelled Tobagonian men as rapists and thieves. The clip was widely shared on social media and widely condemned by many, including Persad-Bissessar, although she later questioned if the sedition case the police claimed to be building against Maharaj for the comments was in fact valid.
Speaking during at the SDMS’s Indian Arrival Day celebration dinner at the Radisson Hotel, Port-of-Spain, on Saturday night, Persad-Bissessar again said she saw no reason for the police pursuing the sedition charges.
“I know Sat and I have known him for a long time, we know he is a fearless fighter for justice and equality. We know he is not afraid to speak out,” Persad-Bissessar said.
“Some may not like every single thing he says but that is no reason for any charge of sedition and therefore I strongly condemn any movement or any such thing to happen. Certainly not guilty of sedition, you know what sedition is? Sedition is like when you trying to overthrow a government.”
The Opposition Leader pledged her support to Maharaj, saying her lawyers would be on stand by if the police opt to take any further action.
“Sat, I say to you, we stand with you. I have looked at your words, I wasn’t happy with some of them, but no one is happy with everybody every single moment of the day. Some may not like it but the thing is Sat is a fighter for equality and justice and we stand with him.”
Maharaj also slammed the use of the Sedition Act to request the recordings when he addressed the dinner.
“In the presence of Prime Minister Rowley, a man say ‘stop the Calcutta ship.’ A racist statement to destabilise Trinidad and Tobago. They don’t want to charge him for sedition, they want to charge me for sedition. They want to make me a Mandela,” said Maharaj, who then shared a message he shared with the UNC leader.
“And I just tell Kamla, if they arrest me she go win the election by 30 seats,” Maharaj said.