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Wednesday 5 August, 2020

COVID-19: 61 in court after weekend arrests

Stock image

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Sixty-one people, including three community leaders from East Port of Spain, are expected to appear before a Port of Spain Magistrate today on charges of breaching COVID-19 public health regulations. The 61 persons were held at a bar in Belmont last Friday.  

They had been kept in custody since, as they had been denied station bail. 

However, on Sunday, a team of attorneys led by Wayne Sturge, who represents 12 of the detained people, filed a habeas corpus in the Port of Spain High Court, contesting the detention, as it was argued that the denying of station bail was a breach of their client’s constitutional right to bail. 

The matter was heard before Justice Carol Gobin yesterday, and the application was upheld. 

After the police were made aware, bail was granted, after charges were laid. 

Under the Public Health Ordinance, gathering in groups of more than 25 are prohibited and a person found in breach faces a maximum penalty of a $50,000 fine and up to six months in prison. 

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