FORMER government minister Sadiq Baksh was taken to hospital on Friday after collapsing as he was about to testify in the Piarco II preliminary enquiry at the Port of Spain Magistrates' Court.
At around 10 a.m. as Baksh was about to continue giving evidence before Senior Magistrate Ejenny Espinet in the 13-year-old enquiry, he began complaining of feeling unwell.
The former minister of works and transport under the United National Congress (UNC) was placed on a bench inside the courtroom to sit, but the symptoms then grew visibly worse as he began vomiting. Attorneys went to his aid as the magistrate and her note-taker made calls requesting an ambulance. About 20 minutes later the ambulance arrived and Baksh was taken to the Port of Spain hospital. Given this, the magistrate had no option but to adjourn the enquiry to next Wednesday.
Baksh, 67, and a number of other men including Steve Ferguson and Ishwar Galbaransingh are charged accused of fraud and corruption stemming from the construction of the multi-million dollar Piarco airport. So far the State has called all of its witnesses and the magistrate has found that the accused men have a case to answer.
The defence opened its case in late October with Baksh being the first defence witness to testify. In all there are approximately 17 defence witnesses to testify before the enquiry comes to an end.