A police officer has won his lawsuit challenging a decision of a magistrate to issue a warrant for his arrest after he failed to attend a hearing of a case.
Delivering a judgement at the Hall of Justice in Port-of-Spain on Thursday, Justice Ricky Rahim ruled that Magistrate Aden Stroude acted unlawfully and unreasonably when he issued the warrant against PC Dale Makoonsingh last year.
According to the evidence in the case, Stroude issued the warrant after Makoonsingh, an officer assigned to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), failed to attend the hearing of an ammunition and marijuana possession case before him on November 29 last year.
Makoonsingh claimed he mixed up the date of the hearing and was on duty when the case was called by Stroude. He learned of the warrant after PC Ross of the Court and Process Branch contacted him on December 11 and requested he surrender or be forcibly arrested.
Three days later, Makoonsingh visited the Port-of-Spain Magistrates' Court and was detained. Makoonsingh was released after he appeared before Magistrate Indira Misir-Gosine and gave the reason for his previous unexplained absence.
Rahim was expected to release a written copy of his judgement on Thursday but may have been hampered by a fire scare at the Hall of Justice, which curtailed the hearings of other cases scheduled before him.
Makoonsingh was represented by Jagdeo Singh, Dinesh Rambally, Kiel Taklalsingh and Stefan Ramkissoon.