PNM Senator Fitzgerald Hinds is predicting that the Review Tribunal established to hear the cases of people detained under the Emergency Powers Regulations will be a waste of resources and money. Hinds, an attorney, is claiming that none of the arrests made so far, including those on Nelson Street, were made under the Emergency Powers Regulations but under different suspicions and laws by the police in their normal course of duty. He said according to the regulations the Minister of National Security had the power to order the detention of someone if he suspected the person was acting against the interest of public safety. He is not anticipating either that the police will find anyone to detain under the regulations.
"There is no emergency, no insurrection, no threat," Hinds insisted. He recalled that during the 1970 Black Power Revolution and the 1990 uprising people were detained under the Emergency Powers Regulations. He said the only threat to the Government were street criminals who could be arrested outside the Emergency Powers Regulations. According to a release from the tribunal yesterday, any person lawfully detained during the state of emergency, under the Emergency Powers Regulations, 2011, has a right to have his/her case reviewed by the Review Tribunal.
Members of the tribunal appointed by Chief Justice Ivor Archie to review the case of anyone detained during the state of emergency released the statement yesterday outlining the procedure on how the tribunal may be accessed. The statement added that any detainee who wanted to have his case reviewed by the tribunal shall make a written request, signed by him or his representative, and lodge it at one of the following locations:
• Registry of the Supreme Court, Hall of Justice, Port-of-Spain;
• sub-registry of the Supreme Court, San Fernando;
• sub-registry of the Supreme Court, Tobago; or
• secretariat of the Review Tribunal, Hall of Justice, Knox Street, Port-of-Spain.
When the request is received, the statement said, the secretary of the tribunal shall promptly notify the Minister of National Security of the matter. It added: "The minister shall forthwith submit to the secretary the grounds upon which the person was detained. "The secretary shall then furnish to the detainee the grounds on which he was detained and notify him of the time and place at which the review will be held to enable him to present his case. "The detainee will be entitled to present his case to the Review Tribunal in person or through a legal representative.
"The tribunal will sit at the Hall of Justice, Knox Street, Port-of-Spain and the hearings shall be held in camera." The Review Tribunal, provided for in section 11 (1) of the Constitution, was established by Archie recently. Members are Gilbert Peterson SC, chairman, Deborah Peake SC and Rajmanlal Joseph. Secretary is Paul Issac. The office of the Review Tribunal is located at the Hall of Justice, Knox Street, Port-of-Spain.