Relatives of a man held for questioning by Tobago Division police in connection with the robbery and murder of THAWE Credit Union courier Sylvert Edwards have expressed concern about the fact that he has been held without charge since December 18.
Joy Bruce-Petty told the T&T Guardian her son Kasey Bruce, the sole breadwinner for the family, has been in custody for ten days. She said officers her son was picked up at 5 am on December 18 during a police search of her home. Since then, she said, they have not been able to get any information from the police. “Today is ten days. They wouldn’t even give me no information. Every time I call the station is different investigating officers,” Bruce-Petty said.
She said her son, the father of two girls ages one and seven years old, has been employed with the Division of Infrastructure and Public Utilities’ Development Section as a carpenter’s assistant for the past 11 years. Concerns have also been raised by Bruce’s attorney, Martin George, who said the officers acted unlawfully when they held his client for more than 72 hours.
“The law requires that if you do not have the evidence you must release the citizen after a reasonable time. The reasonable time is estimated to be within the vicinity of 48 hours to 72 hours. Beyond that you are clearly in breach of the law, so when the police act in such a manner so that they themselves are breaking the law, breaching the law with impunity, how can citizens ever build up any trust or faith in the police? This is just absolutely unbelievable” George said.
George said a writ will be filed on today and the family will be seeking damages. “I had discussions yesterday with very senior executives in the police service. I was given the assurance as the attorney for Mr. Bruce that he would either be charged or released today (Saturday). I understand that today they are still fishing about. They still have nothing concrete or tangible upon which to charge him and they are just really abusing their powers as police officers.
“I have spoken with his family and relatives and on Monday we are going to be filing a writ of habeas corpus for his release and we will be seeking damages and compensation for the illegal and unlawful detention of this citizen” A police source told the T&T Guardian the laying of charges was delayed by the Christmas holidays. However, a file has been sent to Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard.
Extracted From : Trinidad Express Newspaper