It took Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard SC one year to lay a charge of sedition against Police Inspector Michael Seales.
Seales turned up at the Port-of-Spain CID shortly after 3 pm on Wednesday, having been informed late Tuesday by Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Deodath Dulachan, that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) instructed that he be charged. Dulalchan was the lead officer appointed in June last year to investigate statements made on TV6 Morning Edition program.
Inspector Seales later appeared before Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers Caesar at the Port-of- Spain Eighth Magistrates’ Court charged with making seditious comments on June 24, 2015 on Independence Square in Port-of-Spain. Seales was charged under Chapter 11:04 Section 4 (1) (B) of the Sedition Act.
The charge was laid indictable and Seales was not called upon to plead. His attorney Pamela Elder SC, in an application, noted that Seales has an unblemished record having joined the Service in 1988 and at that time, received 13 commendations.
“One, I consider most notable is from the United States Department of Justice for the Balliram Maharaj case,” Elder said.
Elder added that her client was the secretary of the PSWA since June 2012. She told Ayers-Caesar that her client’s common-law wife Nicole Hospedales would stand as surety.
Asked by Ayers-Caesar if she had ever taken bail before, Hospedales said, “no.” Ayers-Caesar explained to Hospedales that she had to ensure Seales attends court and if for some reason he does not, she would have to indicate to the court the reason why.
“If you fall short of your responsibility, then you will have your own matter before the court,” the Chief Magistrate warned. Seales was then granted $75,000 bail with a surety. The matter was adjourned to July 20.
Seales was accompanied to court by members of the Police Social and Welfare Association headed by outgoing President Anand Ramesar.
Seales, 48, who is also an attorney said he will still be contesting the post of PSWA President in an election next week and depending on the outcome (of that election) will decide his future in the TT Police Service. Seales admitted it was an emotionally stressful time for him but added he is putting all his trust in the Almighty and his attorney.
The charge comes almost a year after Seales was suspended by Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams who ordered an investigation be launched into an allegation of public misconduct.
The completed case file was submitted to the office of the DPP last week. On June 25 last year, Inspector Seales was sent off duty for alleging, in a television interview, a conspiracy by the then People’s Partnership Government to “provoke” police officers and call a state of emergency (SoE) as a means of delaying the general election held later that year.