AG: No abduction in Thomas arrest

Attorney General Dale Marshall says he can not characterise the actions of the Barbados police in the Brent Thomas arrest as an “abduction. He however admits not all procedures were properly followed.

Thomas, a firearms dealer, was reportedly taken from his hotel room in Barbados in October and handed over to the Trinidad and Tobago  police, who returned him to Trinidad and Tobago aboard a Regional Security System (RSS) aircraft.

In ruling against the Trinidad and Tobago Government, Justice Devindra Rampersad found that the detention and transporting of Thomas from Barbados to Trinidad and Tobago constituted an “abduction”.

However, in a ministerial statement in the House of Assembly, Marshall said he was satisfied that the actions of the Barbados Police Service” have fallen short of applicable legal norms, such as acting under an extradition request [but]  I cannot associate myself with the description of the actions of the Barbados Police officers as an abduction or as has been elsewhere been described as a kidnapping.

He added: “It is evident, Mr. Speaker, that the Barbados Police Service sought to assist a sister Police service in a matter which appeared to them to be of a grave and important nature, and especially so, given the scourge of firearm violence that is a feature in Barbados and across the Caribbean. It is my view that they rendered that assistance without any mental element of criminality that would be associated with an abduction.”

“ We reject fully any implication of involvement and collusion in this matter so as to deny any citizen of CARICOM (or anywhere) their rights to due process. Going forward, it will be vital for the region to fully implement the terms of the CARICOM Arrest Warrant Treaty which was agreed to and adopted by CARICOM Heads in July 2017 and which was ratified by Barbados in April of 2018. All of CARICOM needs to bring this Treaty into full operation in the shortest possible time so that the recurrence of incidents of this kind may be eliminated” he stressed.

The Attorney General noted that the Government will abide by the law and respect any decisions in court if there may be any legal liability.