On July 24, 2015, there was a breakout at the Port-of-Spain State Prison. During the incident, three prisoners escape. A policeman on duty outside the prison was shot dead.
One of the prisoners, Allan “Scanny” Martin, was shot dead by police outside the Port-of-Spain General Hospital on Charlotte Street.
One day later, another escapee, Hassan Atwell was found shot dead in east Port-of-Spain. The third prisoner, Christopher Selby, surrendered to the police.
But 17 months later, nothing much has happened.
Speaking at the Joint Select Committee on National Security on Thursday, committee chairman Fitzgerald Hinds said Assist Commissioner of Prisons, Dennis Pulchan, had conducted an investigation as required by Prison Service regulations and on October 2, 2015, Pulchan submitted a report to the PSC.
On August 16 this year, some eight months later, the PSC took the decision to refer the matter to a disciplinary tribunal.
On August 30, the PSC decided the proper procedure had been followed (by Pulchan).
Accordingly, on October 6, the members of the Disciplinary Tribunal were informed of their appointment, one year after the investigation report was submitted to the commission.
On October 13, one week later, a member of the tribunal resigned, Hinds said.
He said on December 6, the PSC canceled the appointment of the entire tribunal and informed the committee that another tribunal is to be appointed.
“So based on this horrific timeline it is noteworthy that as recent as December 6, almost one-and-a-half years after this incident, disciplinary proceedings have not even commenced against those officers. And worse still, the DPA informed us in writing, and I quote, “hearings before Disciplinary Tribunals are currently heard over a number of years, an average of three to five years’.
“So when the Prisons Association calls on the Prime Minister and the Minister of National Security and the Commissioner of Police, (for resolution on this matter) these are the facts,” Hinds said.
ALLAN “SCANNY” MARTIN