Venezuelan national Alexandro Espinosa, who attempted to return home for Christmas, was detained by Immigration authorities and brought to court on Christmas Day.
But not on criminal charges, but as a result of a writ of a habeas corpus application brought by his lawyer.
Espinosa, 20, was detained by Immigration officers on Wednesday after it was discovered that he was in possession of falsified documents. With no charges laid against the Venezuelan, attorney Criston Williams filed a writ of habeas corpus application aimed at securing his release.
In the Port-of-Spain High Court on Sunday, Justice James Aboud, stated, ‘the State has the right, under the law, to detain persons, and those persons have the right to seek redress.
I feel the liberty of this man is important enough, not just for him but for us as well.” Aboud noted that these rights are available to all, at any time, and on any day.
The court heard that Espinosa came to Trinidad to holiday with friends during the period September to December and sought an extension.
On December 21, when he went to San Fernando Port at King’s Wharf to return to his home, Immigration officers found that the extension of his stay was obtained fraudulently. He was detained at the Immigration Detention Centre waiting to be charged for the offense.
Attorney Williams wrote to the Immigration Department requesting an explanation as to why his client was detained and not allowed to leave the country.
Immigration Officer Fareed Abraham told the court that investigators found the extension documents to be fraudulent. Aboud, satisfied with the evidence provided, ordered that Espinosa continues to be detained at the Immigration Detention Centre, Aripo.
Espinosa is expected to be charged by Fraud Squad foro having falsified documents in his possession.