Port-of-Spain South MP Marlene McDonald slept on a chair for four days at St Joseph Police Station while in custody.
The information came from McDonald’s attorney Pamela Elder, SC, on Monday as she spoke to reporters outside the St Clair Medical Centre.
McDonald had to be taken to the health facility after complaining of feeling unwell hours after being charged by the police on Sunday.
Mc Donald was scheduled to appear at the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court on Monday, but due health condition did not attend. She was granted bail on the seven criminal charges in absentia.
“Yes, my client is warded here. What has happened is wholly unfortunate and unnecessary because she was charged last night with all those offences and there was no reason whatsoever in law that she should have continued to be detained,” Elder said.
She said her client fell ill after she remained four days in police custody and everything was in place for bail to be secured on Sunday night.
“I am upset because I saw no justification for Ms McDonald not to have been released on bail on Sunday night.”
She said McDonald had two constitutional rights — to reasonable bail and the right to be brought before a judicial officer.
“Both those rights were denied. From the inception of her arrest, she was told there were reasonable grounds to suspect that she had committed certain offences. So if the police have reasonable grounds to suspect, then why wait so long to charge?”
She said the reason given for the delay by the police officers was that they had not been able to process the other four accused.
This led to McDonald being kept in police custody while police charged the other alleged co-conspirators.
In an interview with CNC3 earlier outside Professional Standards Bureau, Elder said: “Once you have processed an accused person that accused person is entitled to bail.”
An undertaken was given that there would be no objection to station bail, as a Justice of the Peace and bailor were standing by to take McDonald’s bail,” Elder said.
“When one considers how long she has been in custody it is not surprising that she has ended up here (hospital) this morning. So Ms McDonald has been arrested since Thursday morning and I want the public to know that despite the courtesy of the police officers there was no reasonable accommodation whatsoever for persons who are detained. Ms McDonald has slept on a chair for four days.”
Asked if she would make a complaint to Police Commissioner Gary Griffith on the issue, Elder said she would do whatever was necessary.
Elder refused to give details about McDonald’s medical condition, stating that this was a private matter, as she pleaded with the media to respect her client’s privacy.