EXORBITANT legal fees have prevented several persons detained during last year's State of Emergency from pursuing legal action against the State, the Express has learned.
Yesterday marked the first anniversary of the State of Emergency declared by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
The State of Emergency ended on December 6 last year.
According to statistics from the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service over 450 people were arrested during the duration of the State of Emergency for gang related offences.
Among those arrested were 21 men from Nelson Street, charged on August 23 last year with being members of the Nelson Street gang under the Anti-Gang legislation.
The men were eventually released on September 12 after Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard said there was insufficient evidence to lead a successful prosecution against them.
The men were Gerard Samuel, Nigel Trudge, Akeem Guerra, Anthony Darmanie, Christopher Richardson, Derek Miller, Atiba Gorkin, Andy Isaac, David Williams, Kevin Myler, Jules Eligon, Edwin Trotman, Akiel Ash, Winston Wilson, Jabari Martinez, Anthony Armstrong, Simba Cobas, Kareem Myer, Ronald Cobham, Akiel Joseph and Newton Pollard.
The Express yesterday visited George Street to speak to the 21 men from Nelson Street to get their views on their detention one year later and whether or not there was any attempt to take legal action against the State.
Atiba Gorkin who has emerged as a de facto spokesman for the group yesterday met with the Express.
Gorkin yesterday said his attorney Vince Charles who is currently out of the country advised him to remain silent on the issue until he has returned.
Gorkin said he was "feeling good otherwise".
Attorneys Charles, Ian Brooks, Nicole Basraj, CJ Williams and Naveen Maraj all represented the Nelson Street 21.
The Express has learnt that the legal team has sought the opinion of British Queen's Counsel Edward Fitzgerald on a way forward for redress for the men.
The problem however, according to a legal source, is that the Nelson Street 21 are unable to foot the bill including Fitzgerald's legal opinion and the legal fees being requested by the local attorneys.
Reports have quoted Attorney General Anand Ramlogan as saying that "not one red cent" has been paid by the State to detainees despite claims of numerous lawsuits to be filed.