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Police and soldiers stand guard outside the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court after a bomb scare forced its temporary closure yesterday.

Sascha Wilson

Outspoken High Court Judge Frank Seepersad, who has received more than one threat on his life in recent times, says he will not be intimidated from discharging his duties.

Seepersad made the remark as he resumed court after a two-hour delay following a bomb scare at San Fernando Supreme Court yesterday.

Thanking the attorneys and parties for their patience while searches were conducted to ensure the building was safe, Seepersad noted that a functioning judicial system is a critical aspect of a functioning democracy.

“Threats to judicial officers or plant and equipment cannot and will not be tolerated. No threat, whether direct or indirect, will deter this court from discharging its constitutional obligations,” Seepersad said.

Last month, Justice Seepersad received a death threat at his home in South Trinidad. An envelope was found in his mailbox containing a 9mm bullet and a note warning that he should resign or the bullet would look “good between his eyes.”

Police said the telephone operator at the court received a call shortly before 9 am yesterday that there was a bomb in the building. Seepersad and Justice Devindra Rampersad, the judicial officers at the court, as well as other staff and members of the public were then evacuated from the building along Harris Street. The Magistrates’ Court also operates out of the building.

The roads within the perimeter of the building were blocked off and sniffer dogs, bomb experts, police and fire officers searched for any explosive devices in and around the building. Officers of The Mon Repos Fire Headquarters and the San Fernando Police were on the scene. However, no evidence of an explosive device was found and activities were allowed to resume.

Seepersad eventually presided over three civil matters.