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Cabinet to get Carrera plan

Saturday, March 16 2013

CHIEF of Staff of the Defence Force Major General Kenrick Maharaj will submit a plan for the proposed use of Carrera Island once the island prison is closed. This was disclosed yesterday by National Security Minister Jack Warner, a day after Justice Minister Christlyn Moore announced Cabinet’s decision to close the prison by the end of this year.

Responding to a question sent by Newsday during debate yesterday in the House of Representatives, on the Defence Amendment Bill 2013, Warner said: “The Chief of Defence Staff will submit a plan to Cabinet regarding the proposed use of Carrera.”

Warner provided no details as to what possible use the Defence Force had in mind for Carrera once the prison is closed.

Warner also made it clear that neither his ministry nor the Government has received any offer from any private commercial entity to purchase Carrera or any part of the island. “No offers have been received from any interests, private or otherwise for the purchase of Carrera,” Warner said.

Speaking at the post-Cabinet news conference at the Office of the Prime Minister in St Clair on Thursday, Moore said once the prison is closed, Carrera Island will be handed over to the Ministry of National Security. She said this would be done because Carrera, “is an island which could be landed on and if left unattended there is a real likelihood that it could be used for unsavory purposes.”

“So it is in the best interest of all concerned that National Security take over the facility and some of its security features need upgrading,” Moore said. She added, the 350 prisoners at Carrera will be transferred to the Maximum Security Prison in Golden Grove, Arouca. Moore said she hoped to bring a note to Cabinet to close the Port-of-Spain prison in the next three to four months but could give “no guarantees” as to when this prison would be closed.

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