DPP discontinues charges against Chaguanas food vendors

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

George Busby

THE State has discontinued charges against two men accused of obstructing the police when they were arresting businessman Inshan Ishmael in 2017.

Last week, deputy Director of Public Prosecutions George Busby said he was authorised by the acting DPP under section 90 of the Constitution to discontinue the charges against Eisa Ghany and Ansar Mohammed in the Chaguanas magistrates’ court.

The two were charged on October 12, 2017, when police went to Barakah Grounds, Chaguanas, to arrest Ishmael.

The businessman was arrested and released with no charges but weeks later, he was told of three warrants for his arrest and surrendered to police. The charges against Ishmael were deemed unlawful by a High Court judge in May. Justice Frank Seepersad held the police acted maliciously and without cause when they arrested and charged Ishmael.

His malicious prosecution claim against the State was undefended and after the judge’s ruling, an appeal was filed but later withdrawn.

Ghany and Mohammed, who also own food establishments at Barakah Grounds, were also arrested on October 12, 2017, for allegedly obstructing the police while allegedly taking videos of Ishmael’s arrest.

At the magistrates’ court, the men’s attorney Richard Jaggasar argued the charges against them could not be sustained, since there was no foundation for them.

The trial began in July before Magistrate Duane Murray.

Jaggasar referred the court to Seepersad’s ruling, submitting that if the principal arrest was deemed unlawful, then no one could have been deemed to have obstructed the police from carrying out an unlawful duty.

He asked for the charges against the two men to be dismissed.

The matter was adjourned to last week when Busby said the State could not pursue the charges against the two men.