Barbados AG Admits Police Fell Short in Thomas Matter

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By Prior Beharry

WHILE saying that it was “unfortunate language” to say that Trinidad and Tobago firearms dealer Brent Thomas was “abducted,” Barbados Attorney General Dale Marshall did admit that the Barbados Police Service had fallen short.

He made the comment in the House of Assembly on Tuesday. He said the Barbados Police Service fell “somewhat short of applicable legal norms.”

Thomas was abducted while in a hotel room in Barbados and handed over to Trinidad and Tobago police officers and taken back to Trinidad. Justice Devindra Rampersad ruled that Thomas was abducted and upheld his constitutional claim. The Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago has since appealed that decision.

Marshall made his statement after receiving reports from the Commissioner of Police, Ministry of National Security, Barbados-based Regional Security System (RSS) and Caricom Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS).

He said the Barbados police acted “somewhat short of applicable legal norms” when it apprehended  Thomas without an extradition request last October.

Marshall said that his government will abide by any court decision that finds Barbados police liable for their actions.

He said the Barbados Extradition Act (Chapter 189) of the Laws of Barbados, applied to a large number of criminal offen­ces, including those for firearms, for which the warrants of arrest for Thomas were issued.

But, Marshall noted that no request was made for Thomas’ extradition.

He said, “The Trinidad and Tobago High Court has characterised what transpired in Barbados on October 5, last year, in relation to Mr Thomas, as an ‘abduction’. That is unfortunate language.”

Marshall added, “From the reports that I have received, I am satisfied that the actions of the Barbados Police Service have fallen somewhat short of appli­cable legal norms, such as acting under an extradition request.

“I however cannot associate myself with the description of the actions of the Barbados police officers as an abduction or, as has elsewhere been described, as a kidnapping.”

He said the Barbados Police Service “sought to assist a sister police service in a matter which appeared to them to be of a grave and important nature, and especially so, given the scourge of firearm violence that is a feature in Barbados and across the Caribbean.”

Marshall said, “The Prime Minister and myself, indeed the Government of Barbados, welcome a full distillation and ventilation of all of the facts surrounding this matter.

“We reject fully any implication of involvement and collusion in this matter so as to deny any citizen of Caricom (or anywhere) their rights to due process.”



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