“We anxiously await the day in court when the people who have made these scurrilous allegations will enter the witness box and subject themselves to the cross examination that will prevail,” he added.
Ramlogan, 45, appeared before Magistrate Nanette Forde-John in the Port of Spain Magistrate’s Court on the two charges days after a large police party descended on his home in Palmiste, south Trinidad, at dawn Tuesday and held him on “reasonable suspicion” inallegations made against him in 2015 by Police Complaints Authority head David West.
After 12 hours of grilling on 189 questions from police and Ramlogan’s own 40-page package of responses, he was charged 36 hours after his detention, around dusk on Wednesday.
Currently out on $750,000 bail, Ramlogan appeared cool and calm when he arrived at court at 8.45 am yesterday in a black SUV accompanied by his attorney Pamela Elder, his wife Nalini and aides, with attorney Gerald Ramdeen alongside. He and his wife held hands as they walked into the court building.
After the hearing ended, the team emerged from the building at 10.4o am. With his wife at his side, Ramlogan delivered a brief statement to reporters.
“I have waited a very long time to have my day in court and remain confident that the truth shall set me free. I have no doubt that justice will prevail in this matter and I will emerge victorious,” he said, adding that he had every confidence in his legal team headed by Elder.
“It has been a very harrowing and distressing experience to be subjected to the execution of a search warrant with such a large contingent of police officers at my home. My primary concern now is for my young children and my family and I intend to protect them and ensure that this trial does not affect them.
“Other than that, I intend to continue what I’ve always done, which is to fight for the downtrodden and underprivileged in T&T and I intend to be back out at work at my law firm come Monday morning.”
Ramlogan did not respond to questions about whether he felt politically persecuted.
Commenting on the heavy security around the courts—which was for the Dana Seetahal enquiry which also occurred yesterday—Ramlogan said: “I was a bit flattered when I saw the extreme security measures this morning. Happily, it wasn’t for me. I understand there was another matter in the court.”
Suited up as usual, Ramlogan sported his traditional grey-streaked buzz cut with a short greying Van Dyke beard. His wife was dressed in black. While he looked cheerful and smiled as he spoke to reporters, his wife appeared serious.
Picong for PNM, Ramlogan.
Ramlogan’s address following his emergence from the court was the culmination of a morning of media monitoring from 8 am awaiting his appearance. His reference to the high security pertained to the blocking off of St Vincent Street from Duke to Hart Streets and the 14-plus heavily armed police officers on duty outside the court for the Seetahal matter.
The black SUV which Ramlogan and his associates arrived in wasn’t allowed to enter the St Vincent Street court block and had to turn into Duke Street west, depositing the party there. They walked the short distance to the court under media glare.
Also arriving for the matter were Ramlogan’s look-alike brother Krishna from south Trinidad, two other family members, colleagues from his law firm and attorney Wayne Sturge, a UNC senator.
Around 9.35 am, two Ramlogan aides emerged from the court and quickly left by vehicle. They returned at 10.10 am with Justice of the Peace Anthony Soulette who had handled the bail process for Ramlogan on Wednesday. Indications were that Soulette’s presence was needed to rectify an aspect of the case. Soulette emerged from the court shortly after he entered.
Throughout the morning, a middle-aged Afro Trini woman with blue plaits woven into her hair walked the area shouting encouragement for Ramlogan and berating the PNM leadership.
“All will be well with the AG (Ramlogan)! God large and in charge. The AG will be alright!” she declared.
When Ramlogan emerged from the court, a middle aged female PNM activist and another woman who appeared on the Duke Street corner shouted at him.
“God doh sleep, boy!” was among her taunts to Ramlogan.
Among those who stopped to watch the proceedings was a well known female Santa Cruz UNC stalwart. UNC chairman David Lee subsequently denied a radio claim that the party had directed supporters to gather at the court.
“If anyone came out they did so of their own volition,” he said.