Partap’s case adjourned to Mar 7
By LAUREL V WILLIAMS Friday, January 25 2013
FORMER Minister in the Ministry of National Security Collin Partap yesterday appeared before a Port-of-Spain magistrate to answer a charge of failing to take a breathalyser test.
Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar, in the Eight Court, read the charge against Partap which alleged that on August 26 last, at the intersection of Keate and Frederick Streets, Port-of-Spain, he being the driver of a vehicle and without reasonable excuse failed to provide a breath specimen to a police officer upon request.
Partap pleaded not guilty. He is an attorney, and also the Member of Parliament for Cumuto/Manzanilla under the People’s Partnership Government.
Prior to his appearance before the magistrate yesterday, Partap was seen sitting at the bar table interacting with other attorneys. He is being represented by Israel Khan SC, instructed by Jagdeo Singh, Larry Lalla, Wayne Sturge and Ravi Rajcoomar.
Supt Kenneth Cordner, who yesterday prosecuted in the case, told Magistrate Ayers-Caesar that the complainant, acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams, was present in the court together with six prosecution (police) witnesses. Cordner identified the witnesses as being Insp John, Cpl Boyce, PC’s Cooper and Omardath and WPC’s Daniel and Baptiste.
Cordner noted that it was his intension to have the file forwarded to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions so that a State attorney can be appointed to prosecute the case.
In making an application for full disclosure in the case, Khan said his client had a conversation with Williams prior to the charge, and that conversation was of great importance to the defence team and justice. It was bothering him, Khan added, that the very person Partap was seeking assistance from, had turned around and charged him.
“All along I was thinking he (Williams) was a witness for us... Why did they zero in on Partap of all the persons who were coming out of the club? It will be a long battle in this matter,” Khan said.
He added that police have taken great interest in this matter, suggesting that they should pay particular attention to accused Rastas, and doubles vendors.
Ayers-Caesar adjourned the case to March 7 for mention.
Partap was fired by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar on August 25, a day later in an alleged confrontation with police officers outside the Zen nightclub, in Port-of-Spain. Last month, he was served with a summons to appear in court yesterday to answer the charge.