A female police officer who is one of the State’s main witnesses against six of her former colleagues accused of murdering three friends over a decade ago, has had to obtain an injunction to reinstate her witness protection security detail.
Lawyers representing the officer, whose name was withheld due to the nature of the case and the status of the criminal proceedings related to it, sought the injunction after the security detail which was assigned to her since entering the Justice Protection Programme almost a decade ago, was removed on November 18.
Two Fridays ago, High Court Judge Kevin Ramcharan granted an emergency injunction for the immediate reinstatement of the security detail for the safe house she is being housed at.
In the injunction application, the officer claimed that she was without the security detail for almost a week and was concerned as she had received numerous death threats in the past.
Her lawyers claimed that the removal was contrary to the provisions of the Justice Protection Act.
When the officer’s substantive case came up for hearing before Justice Frank Seepersad last Wednesday, her attorneys indicated that the injunction was complied with within 24 hours of it being served on the parties.
They also indicated that they would continue discussions with the Ministry of National Security over the continuation of the case in which it and the Commissioner of Police were listed as defendants.
The position was welcomed by Justice Seepersad, who praised the parties for participating in the talks.
“Given the factual matrix, all the parties should be on the same page. It should not really proceed on an adversarial basis,” Justice Seepersad said.
Justice Seepersad adjourned the case to this Wednesday when the parties are expected to provide an update to the court.
The officer, who is on suspension, was initially charged with the triple murder alongside her colleagues but the charges against her were dropped after she made a State witness almost a year later.
In 2018, an indictment for a lesser charge of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice was filed against the officer.
However, she has not pleaded guilty to the charge as she is currently pursuing a separate case against Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard, SC, over the provisions of a plea agreement.
In July, High Court Judge Norton Jack refused an application to grant the officer’s colleagues bail based on a landmark Court of Appeal judgement on the ability of judges to consider bail for murder.
The victims’ families have also filed a lawsuit seeking $2 million in compensation each for their wrongful deaths.
That case went to trial in 2018 but had to be reassigned to another judge after Justice Ramcharan recused himself from the case based on the fact that the families’ lawyer Keith Scotland represented him in an unrelated matter.
The case was reassigned to another High Court Judge but was not determined as he was subsequently elevated to the Court of Appeal. The case is still pending.
The officer is represented by Michael Rooplal, Kristy Mohan, Vishan Girwar and Gisanne Ramjit.