State to expedite Ramlogan, Ramdeen trial

Anand Ramlogan and Gerald Ramdeen will have their cases in court dealt with in the shortest possible time frame, following their first appearance in court today.

The two have been called to answer charges related to kickbacks from state briefs.

When they appeared before Chief Magistrate Maria Busby Earle-Caddle in the Port-of-Spain Magistrates Court this morning, Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard afreed with Ramlogan and Ramdeen's lawyers, to expedite the case.

Ramlogan's attorney, Pamela Elder asked for expediency as she pointed out that the witness Vincent Nelson is ill and could even die before giving evidence.

The matter was adjourned to June 28th.

Speaking with the media outside the court, Ramlogan said that he believes the "truth will emerge in due time".

"I will live my live as usual. No weapon that formed against me will prosper," Ramlogan added.

He said he has confidence in his lawyers.

Background:

On May 1, Anand Ram­lo­gan was de­tained at the Pi­ar­co In­ter­na­tion­al Air­port by ACIB of­fi­cers at 4.15 am and tak­en to the of­fice at 33 In­de­pen­dence Square, Port-of-Spain.

Ramdeen was told that there was a war­rant out for his ar­rest and sur­ren­dered to of­fi­cers at the same ACIB of­fice around 7 a.m that same morn­ing.

It was re­port­ed that the two were held in con­nec­tion with in­for­ma­tion re­ceived from a whistle­blow­er, Queen’s Coun­sel Vin­cent Nel­son.

Nel­son ap­peared in court on Thurs­day un­der a plea bar­gain­ing deal which will see him plead guilty to three charges and tes­ti­fy for the State against Ram­lo­gan and Ramdeen.

By Fri­day night af­ter more than 70 hours in cus­tody, it was re­port­ed that both men were charged with three of­fences of con­spir­a­cy to re­ceive fi­nan­cial re­wards.

Ram­lo­gan was placed on a $1.2 mil­lion bail, while Ramdeen was placed on a $1.5 mil­lion bail.

Crit­i­cal sec­tions of

Pro­ceeds of Crime Act

44. (1) An of­fence com­mit­ted un­der sec­tion 45 shall be known as a mon­ey laun­der­ing of­fence and the term “mon­ey laun­der­ing” shall be con­strued ac­cord­ing­ly.

(2) The of­fence of mon­ey laun­der­ing is an in­dictable of­fence.

45. (1) A per­son who knows or has rea­son­able grounds to sus­pect that prop­er­ty is crim­i­nal prop­er­ty and who—

(a) en­gages di­rect­ly or in­di­rect­ly, in a trans­ac­tion that in­volves that crim­i­nal prop­er­ty; or

(b) re­ceives, pos­sess­es, con­ceals, dis­pos­es of, dis­guis­es, trans­fers, brings in­to, or sends out of Trinidad and To­ba­go, that crim­i­nal prop­er­ty; or

(c) con­verts, trans­fers or re­moves from Trinidad and To­ba­go that crim­i­nal prop­er­ty, com­mits an of­fence of mon­ey laun­der­ing.

(2) For the pur­pos­es of sub­sec­tion (1), a fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion or list­ed busi­ness knows or has grounds to sus­pect that the prop­er­ty is crim­i­nal prop­er­ty, if it or he fails to take rea­son­able steps to im­ple­ment or ap­ply pro­ce­dures to con­trol or com­bat mon­ey laun­der­ing in ac­cor­dance with the Reg­u­la­tions made pur­suant to sec­tion 56.

(3) Where a per­son is charged with an of­fence un­der this sec­tion and the Court is sat­is­fied that the prop­er­ty in his pos­ses­sion or un­der his con­trol was not ac­quired from in­come de­rived from a le­git­i­mate source, it shall be pre­sumed, un­less the con­trary is proven, that the prop­er­ty is crim­i­nal prop­er­ty.

(4) For the pur­pos­es of sub­sec­tion (3), the stan­dard of proof re­quired by the per­son re­ferred to in that sub­sec­tion, shall be that ap­plic­a­ble in civ­il pro­ceed­ings.

- by Derek Achong and Mark Bassant

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