Christmas in jail for 8 Cuban nationals
Eight Cuban nationals, part of the group of 18 which came to this country about a year ago seeking asylum in the United States through the United Nations office here in Trinidad, will spend the Christmas holiday in prison following their appearance before a Port of Spain Magistrate.
The eight are Ramon Arbolaez Abreu, 43, Yaneisy Santana Hurtado, 37, Pedro Santana Madeo, 30, Yuriet Pedrozo Gonzales, 30, Lisandra Farray Rodriquez, 29, Gladys Lisandra Perez Molina, 22, Yusnes Reyes Santana, 20, and Ailys Arbolaez Santana, 18.
They appeared before Magistrate Magistrate Rehana Ali on allegations of willfully obstructing the passageway of Chancery Lane, Port of Spain.
They all pleaded not guilty to the allegations.
The eight nationals were represented by attorneys Rajiv Persad and Christophe Rodriquez.
However, as the accused had no fixed place of abode and were non-nationals the attorneys made no application for bail.
The Immigration department was represented by attorney Jonathan Soo Hon.
The Children’s Authority was represented by Sharlene Jaggernauth.
Translator Pauline Diaz assisted the court.
After further submissions, the matter was adjourned to January 8.
Under Section 64(1)(n) of the Summary Offences Act, the court can impose a $200 fine and one month imprisonment to any person who, in any way, wilfully obstructs the free passage of any street.
The eight were detained on Wednesday afternoon by officers of the Port of Spain CID.