Mark: Which Government minister was involved in Brent Thomas debacle?

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Opposition Senator Wade Mark. – File photo

OPPOSITION Senator Wade Mark wants to know if any Trinidad and Tobago government official was involved in the Brent Thomas saga.

Barbados’ government recently accepted responsibility for the “forcible removal” of Thomas, a gun dealer, from his hotel room there by its police in 2022.

Thomas was on his way to the United States but stopped over in Barbados, when he was detained at his hotel, handcuffed and handed over to three officers assigned to Trinidad and Tobago’s Professional Standards Bureau (PSB) on the tarmac of the Grantley Adams International Airport.

Then PSB head, and now a deputy commissioner, Suzette Martin had alleged Thomas planned to travel to Greece.

Mark said while the Barbados government has admitted to wrongdoing, those in Trinidad and Tobago have not seem to come to terms with that stance.

Speaking at a press conference on April 14, Mark told Attorney General Reginald Armour, SC, that something “cannot be wrong in Barbados and right in TT.

Armour has only publicly said that he has “noted the statements in the media” on the matter.

However, Mark said, “TT must recognise that there are certain players in the Cabinet of TT that are responsible, accountable and culpable and must be brought to justice” for this matter.

“I am awaiting the revelation in the document that has been demanded by Mr Thomas’ lawyer from the attorney general in Barbados…

“Who in TT, which ministers got on the phone and called up Barbados and instructed them or misled them or misguided them?”

He also asked Armour what role he played, if any, in the saga, as well as Minister of Foreign and Caricom Affairs Dr Amery Browne, National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds and the Prime Minister.

Thomas has asked for details from the Barbadian authorities, including the names and ranks of the members of the TTPS, or any other party, who made the request and who contacted Caricom IMPACS (the Implementation Agency for Crime and Security), a special law enforcement agency of Caricom; the names and/or ranks or designation of the persons (from Barbados) who received this information from members of the TTPS, or any other party; the names and/or ranks of persons of the members of the TTPS, or any other party, who interacted with members of the Barbados Police Service.

He also wants the names of the ministers from TT and Barbados who interacted with each other as well as copies of all correspondence and written communication exchanged between them as well as with any public official or police officer, including those from IMPACS.

Thomas also wants a copy of the flight plan and manifest of the RSS plane used to transport Thomas from Barbados to Trinidad; a statement containing the name of the pilots and/or flight crew on the RSS plane, the nature and the make of the plane and the location at which the plane is held.

In an address to the Barbadian Parliament on May 9, 2023, Attorney General Dale Marshall, SC, said he recognised Barbados’ officers had “fallen short” of the law by acting without an extradition request. “I can confirm that no request was made for the extradition of Mr Thomas.”

On April 7, Sunday Newsday reported the contents of a letter from Marshall’s attorney, Roger Forge, KC, informing Thomas’ legal team of the government’s position.

“I have advised my client that the State of Barbados should accept liability in respect of the claim for breach of section 18 of the Constitution of Barbados.

“In the circumstances, kindly send me a claim on quantum together with authorities in support of the same.”

He also added, “I am of the view that many of the documents requested by you touch and concern liability which my client has agreed to accept.”