Justice Stanley John to speak on $20m file

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Retired judge Stanley John –

RETIRED Appeal Court judge Stanley John is expected to deliver a public statement on Saturday on the investigation of the State’s failure to defend a malicious prosecution lawsuit filed by nine men acquitted of the murder of Vindra Naipaul-Coolman.

John is the government’s lead investigator hired to probe what led to the failure.

The Office of the Prime Minister’s Communications Division sent a media release on Friday saying John will speak on the expected outcomes of the investigation and give a timeline for the submission of a report on the findings of the inquiry. He will do so at 10.35 am on state television, TTT.

He will not field questions, the release said, but will give updates as the investigation progresses.

On February 1, Attorney General Reginald Armour, SC, said the malicious prosecution claim, filed by the men in May 2020, went missing the day after it was served on the State on June 22, 2020.

He appointed John to investigate the circumstances surrounding the “missing file.”

The State’s failure to defend the claim led to the nine men’s being awarded a total of $20 million in compensation.

Armour’s revelation came two days after Master Martha Alexander awarded the men $2 million each on January 30. Armour admitted the first time his office heard of the malicious prosecution claim was when a decision was given.

Court records show the State did not put in an appearance in the High Court on the malicious prosecution claim.

On Monday, the Government said the “file in question was today handed over” to acting Solicitor General Karleen Seenath.

Since then, Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has called on the Judiciary to “come clean” on the role of newly-appointed judge Karen Reid-Ballantyne, who represented the State at the assessment hearing.

The Judiciary has said it will not be responding to questions on the matter because of the investigation launched by the government.

John admitted to Newsday earlier this week he did not have the power to compel people to speak with him and his team. However, he said there were ways to address this.