Commissioner of Prisons, Dennis Pulchan.

Story by MARK BASSANT

Prisons Commissioner Dennis Pulchan has cleared up the misconception about the transfer of inmate Rajaee Ali from Remand Yard in Maximum Security Prison (MSP) to Building 13, after allegations were levelled against him by the Waajihatul Islaamiyyah (The Islamic Front), in a media release on Thursday.

This is contrary to claims made by the Islamic Front that Ali was transferred to Building 13—which it identified as “an edifice for punishment, one which is not in a good physical state and lacks proper infrastructural space”.

The release further contended that Ali’s attorneys were questioned why he was “forcibly removed from Remand Yard MSP to Building 13 without just cause or reason”.

Pulchan countered, stating:

“The Prisons Commissioner has the authority to move a prisoner from point A to point B. I can tell you Building 13 is not a cell block or punishment area, but rather a housing area, where 200 other inmates are located,” Pulchan told Guardian Media.

“There was no malice in moving him from point A to point B. I spoke with Mr. Ali this morning (Thursday) and everything was amicable,” claimed Pulchan.

Pulchan said there was no real reason for moving Mr. Ali.

The Islamic Front indicated as well that Ali’s attorneys also were taking issue with the commissioner for his failure to implement proper COVID-19 protocols at the Port of Spain Prison, where a prisoner tested positive for the virus a few days ago.

“We are doing everything to fight COVID-19 inside the prisons. We are making masks for prisoners so they can be protected,” Pulchan said.

The Islamic Front also has called on Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley, and Police Commissioner Gary Griffith, to respond to this matter.