Refused breatH test: Collin Partap

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Top cop: No delay in charging Partap

By Gyasi Gonzales

ACTING Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams yesterday said there had been no delay in laying a charge of refusing to submit to a breathalyser test against former Junior National Security Minister, Collin Partap.

Williams was speaking at the weekly police briefing at Police Headquarters, Port of Spain.

He said that the matter was speedily dealt with and was done only by him because besides being the acting CoP, he was also the investigator.

In August this year, Partap was asked to pull aside after leaving a Port of Spain nightclub and was asked to submit to a breathalyser test.

Police said he initially refused but he was eventually tested at the Belmont Police Station.

Ag CoP Williams yesterday said a summons to appear in court has since been served on the former minister and he will appear before a Port of Spain Magistrate on January 24, 2013.

"But this incident occurred in August and we are now in December so why the delay?" asked the Express.

Ag CoP Williams explained however, "What I want to share with you is that there are situations where people refuse to undergo a breathalyser test and those persons are not charged."

He continued, "because, OK, someone refused the breath test and you take that person to a station and the person submits to a breath test and then the police officers have the verification of the level of alcohol within the test and a determination is made and there are persons who will not appear in court who would not even be charged on the basis of the matter."

Williams continued, "You (the media) are identifying a particular situation and coming to a final conclusion because at the end of the day this matter will be before the court and one that will be determined by the magistrate as to the issue of evidence.

Earlier however Ag CoP Williams explained that on December 3, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Roger Gaspard sent a sealed envelope to his office addressed to him and that file was in relation to the August incident involving Partap.

"I was in Barbados on a Caribbean conference on policing and I stayed there from Monday, (December 3) to Thursday, December 6 and I returned to Trinidad on Friday morning and later to work," said Williams.

"I got to my office at noon on Friday and I got a call from the DPP who enquired if I had seen the file. Following that I contacted my office and I received the sealed file which I opened. I called the DPP two minutes after that and I told him I got the file. The following days were Saturday and Sunday...not working days and on Monday the first working day I laid the information at the Port of Spain Magistrates Court preferring charges against Collin Partap which was failure to provide a sample of breath as requested by a police officer. So I want to clear up any misconceptions because it seem that people are on a mission to create some level of improper perceptions in the manner in which I had conducted an investigation and the speed at which I dealt with this issue."

"I don't think you can deal with a matter speedier than that. The first working day that I had the opportunity to lay an information, I laid the information. I passed the summons in relation to very said matter to the Court and Process Branch and that summons was in fact served this morning by an officers of the Court and Process Branch. The matter is listed for hearing on Thursday, January 24, 2013...and that is the sequence of events which seem to have all the interest of the media on a matter which is as straightforward as that."

"I tried my best," he said.

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