Sunday 29 November, 2020

Assault charges against A&V Drilling CEO dismissed

Three criminal charges laid against A&V Oil and Gas Limited Chief Executive Officer Hanif Nazim Baksh and his relative Sgt Billy Ramsundar, have been dismissed.

The charges were dismissed by Siparia Senior Magistrate Margaret Alert on Monday.

The men were charged with assaulting Trinidad Guardian photographer Kristian De Silva during an incident which took place in September 2017.

They were also charged for maliciously damaging his spectacles.

When the matter was called on July 15, 2019, after hearing a submission from Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj SC, Alert was not prepared to give the prosecution a further extension and as a result, she dismissed all charges and discharged the accused.

However, it should be noted that the  Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard has the option of relaying the charges.

More on this as it becomes available. 

Following the incident in 2017, Baksh issued an apology to the media for his actions but maintained that the media workers had entered his property without permission.

In 2017, A&V Drilling was highlighted in the media in connection with a 'fake oil' scandal involving Petrotrin, which had allegedly paid $100 million to the company for oil which was not supplied. 

Petrotrin later confirmed that there were discrepancies following a forensic audit which was commissioned by Petrotrin’s Board. 

In October 2018, Opposition MP Dr Roodal Moonilal made statements in Parliament, linking Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley to the A&V Drilling fake oil scandal.

Dr Rowley has since denied these allegations and warned of legal action regarding any defamatory accusations made outside the realm of Parliamentary privilege. 

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