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Regional Briefs

Published:Saturday | July 27, 2019 | 12:00 AM

T&T High Court orders return of sex toys

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):

A High Court judge yesterday ordered the state to return a box of adult novelty goods that had been seized by the Comptroller of Customs in 2017.

But Justice Ricky Rahim has given the state a two-week stay on the execution of the order made in favour of sexologist Dr Raj Ramnanan, who had filed a judicial review claim last October challenging the decision of the Customs Department.

The three boxes were seized on August 29 and November 15, 2017 on the basis that the items were considered to be offensive in nature and prohibited from importation under the Customs Act.

Ramnanan, who was seeking to have the High Court declare that the Comptroller’s failure to institute forfeiture proceedings within a reasonable time at the Magistrates’ Court was unlawful, argued that this failure was made in breach of natural justice and his right to protection of the law.

While Justice Rahim made the declarations in relation to the first box, the judge dismissed the claim with regard to the other two boxes indicating that under Section 220 of the Customs Act, when goods are seized, the owner of the goods must be notified of the seizure in writing.



New Haiti PM faces uphill task in getting support from legislators


Newly appointed Prime Minister Fritz William Michel has named an 18-member Cabinet, but faces an uphill task in getting his nomination accepted by legislators.

Michel, a former executive in the Ministry of Economy and Finance, became the fourth prime minister of this French-speaking CARICOM country, since President Jovenel Moise became the head of state in 2017.

Michel, 38, who last week, replaced Jean Michel Lapin, who had earlier announced that he was stepping down in the interest of the country, has since named a cabinet with an equal number of men and women.

But the legislators remain divided on his appointment, with some insisting that President Moise should step down in the wake of allegations of embezzlement related to the PetroCaribe oil initiative with Venezuela and call fresh elections.



Disgraced British ex-cop appeals rape sentence

ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC):

A former British police officer serving a 15-year jail term for raping a young woman while he was vacationing in Antigua four years ago has filed an appeal against his conviction.

Media reports yesterday said that the lawyer for Lee Martin-Cramp filed the appeal earlier this week, citing a number of grounds.

It said that in the appeal, the ex-cop, who was found guilty two months ago for raping an American visitor to Antigua, is challenging the conviction and the sentence.

Martin-Cramp, who was dismissed from the UK Metropolitan Police Force, is being held at the former US Naval Base in keeping with the agreement between the local and UK authorities that he would not be imprisoned at the state penitentiary.

Justice Iain Morley while sentencing Martin-Cramp noted that he was an officer who took an oath to protect and serve but he broke that oath and violated the woman.

He said a further aggravating factor was that the officer spiked the woman’s drink as soon as she turned her back while they were preparing to watch a movie at her apartment.