Volney: Not all 50 inmates secured release
THE Government's hope of releasing 50 prisoners in time for Trinidad and Tobago's 50th anniversary of Independence has been slowed by the Mercy Committee's rejection of over 20 of the recommended prisoners.
In a telephone interview with the Express yesterday Justice Minister Herbert Volney said the release of the inmates, who were scheduled to complete their sentence within 12 months, could not be completed before the August 31 Independence Day celebrations. He described the proposed pardon of the prisoners as a "sort of propelled" release.
"As far as I know it will be in excess of 30 (prisoners approved by the Mercy Committee) and building. You see 50-plus people were put for release but the Mercy Committee has rejected many, many of the persons recommended for release because it was felt given the sensitivity of the particular case that it wouldn't be proper to release those persons as they were not proper persons to be released" Volney said.
He said the list had to be re-opened to facilitate the 50 prisoner benchmark adding they have to be very careful of releasing persons. Volney said as far as he was aware no prisoners have been released, but that was a matter for Commissioner of Prisons Martin Martinez.
In a telephone interview with the Express, Martinez said no official word had come to him to release any prisoner whose name had been proposed for the Independence pardon scheme.
Volney said the identity of the prisoners will not be released for privacy reasons as some of the former inmates may not want people to know they were incarcerated.