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Probe launched into who threw beer on law

Saturday, May 19, 2018
More bacchanal in Pan Trinbago:

Pan Trinbago secretary Richard Forteau intends to launch an investigation as to who was responsible for throwing beer on attorney Farid Scoon when he tried to serve an injunction granted by High Court judge Joanne Charles to hold a special convention called by its president Keith Diaz.

Scoon, who was representing six members of Pan Trinbago’s central executive consisting of secretary Richard Forteau, treasurer Andrew Salvador, PRO Michael Joseph, external relations officer Darren Sheppard and trustees Allan Augustus and Trevor Reid, on Thursday, at the Communication Workers’ Union Hall, Port-of-Spain, was greeted by a group of boisterous band members and there was a brief verbal exchange after beer was thrown on him.

On May 3, High Court judge Ronnie Boodoosingh granted an injunction to Pan Trinbago’s central executive, restraining Diaz or any purported caretaker committee from exercising any of their functions.

In granting the injunction, Boodoosingh said there would be no substantial prejudice to Diaz and the status quo would result in him remaining a member of the executive and the interim committee would return to their non-executive status.

The executive members, who were ousted on April 17, took the matter to court challenging Diaz’s decision to convene the meeting at which the interim committee was set up to run the organisation until elections are held.

The injunction, which bars the interim committee from meeting and making any decisions in relation to the organisation, will last until the executives’ lawsuit before Boodoosingh is determined.

Forteau said he did not attend Thursday’s meeting which was called by Diaz, stating that he wanted the rift between them to end in the interest of the organisation.

This meeting fell outside the scope of Boodoosingh’s injunction, forcing the executive to seek a secondary injunction from Charles late Thursday.

Forteau said Diaz wrote him on May 7 asking for a special convention on May 17.

“I wrote Diaz on May 9 indicating to him the time was too short of the court’s decision,” Forteau said.

The executive members contended that the May 17 meeting was not called with the requisite 28 day-notice.

Though Diaz agreed to meet with them on May 28, Forteau said Thursday’s meeting was still held.

“While you are saying you would meet with us on May 28 you are doing things to amend the constitution of the organisation. Justice Boodoosingh would have told you the caretaker committee you put in place is null and void. So Diaz is defying the court order.”

Forteau said the executive is willing to meet with Diaz despite the court matter, since the conventional bands had not been paid their $16 million prize monies for the 2018 Panorama competition.

“We have to sort out this matter.”

He did not take lightly beer being thrown on Scoon which he said tantamount to assault.

“We are going to get to the bottom of it. We are going to find out who threw the beer. This was assault.”

Once the perpetrator is identified, Forteau said action will be taken against them based on its constitution.

Forteau said there was need for mediation to stop the ongoing feud.

“I am not happy to be coming out in public to talk about our affairs. Why can’t we set aside the little wrangling for the good of the organisation?”

In defence, Diaz said according to Pan Trinbago’s constitution he can call a special convention if there is an emergency.

Diaz said he was also accused of using the organisation’s funds to pay his legal fees which was not true.

“I have my legal fees to deal with. They took me to court. I didn’t take them to court.”

He described the executive as a cabal.

“The executive went ahead and kept meetings without my authority and made decisions and payments without my authority.”

Diaz said when the beer was thrown on Scoon, he was sitting away from the incident.

He refused to comment when asked if Culture Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly should intervene to bring peace on both sides.

Diaz has to appear in court on May 25.

Several calls to Gadsby-Dolly’s cellphone yesterday went unanswered.


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