Tools

$250,000 for businessman arrested, beaten, imprisoned by cops

..taxpayers will have to foot the bill

By SUSAN MOHAMMED susan.mohammed@trinidadexpress.com

THE State has been ordered to pay more that $250,000 to a Rio
Claro businessman who the police arrested, beat, and imprisoned for three nights, before he was charged.

Justice Peter Rajkumar sitting in the Hall of Justice, Port-of-spain,
awarded damages to Emraan Ali, of Eccles Village, who
had filed a lawsuit for false imprisonment, assault, personal injuries,
and the unlawful detention of his vehicle.

The judge said the officers involved in the case should be investigated. Justice Rajkumar also ordered that Ali's vehicle, a Mazda B 2500 pick-up truck be returned to him.

Through attorneys Faraaz Mohammed and Petronilla Basdeo, Ali filed
the action based on events which occurred in July 2008.
In court documents, Ali stated that he arrived at his home at 5.30 p.m.
on July 5, and met a party of police officers searching the ground floor of the three-storey building.

He said one of the officers inquired about the vehicles parked in the yard, and he produced a receipt for the pick-up. The businessman
said he asked the policemen if had a warrant, and officer replied that they did not need one.

Ali said he was taken to the third floor where police officers conducted a search, and when nothing was found, the officers beat and threatened him.

Ali said he was taken to the San Fernando Police Station by the officers in his Land Rover Discovery vehicle, and his pick-up truck was towed to the police station.

He said he was placed in a cell, and later taken to a room where he was threatened to sign documents. Ali said he refused and he was pushed and choked by a police officer. He said that two days later he was taken to an isolated area at Bamboo Trace, Rio Claro, where he was beaten by three police officers.

Ali said he was also taken to Boos Village, Rio Claro, where he was also beaten by the same policemen and a fourth officer who had a baton.

He said when he returned to the San Fernando Police Station, he was visited by his attorney, and later taken to the San Fernando General Hospital for treatment.

Ali said he was not treated, but instead returned to the police station where he was charged with unlawful possession. He appeared in court, and the after several hearings the case was dismissed on January 15, 2009.

Ali claimed that when he returned home he noticed that tools valued $24,500, were missing from his shed. JusticeRajkumar said that while he did not find favour with Ali's malicious prosecution claim, there was enough information to substantiate the claim of unlawful detention since Ali should have been taken to court at the earliest opportunity.
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