Friday, February 1, 2013

Witness says Nizam tried to get landing rights for Libyan plane days after 1990 failed coup

Raphael Cumberbatch
A former hostage during the failed 1990 Muslimeen coup told the enquiry into the uprising that Nizam Mohammed tried to get landing rights for a Libyan aircraft just days after the July 27 attempted coup.

Former acting clerk of the House of Representatives Raphael Cumberbatch made the charge against the former House Speaker at Thursday's sitting of the commission.

Cumberbatch said he heard about the matter from a "high official" of the Trinidad and Tobago High Commission in Barbados. "I bring it to the commission with the clear knowledge that I am fully aware of the person who gave me that information but I would not wish to disclose it in open session," he said.

Cumberbatch told the commission's lead attorney, Avory Sinanan, it happened "very soon after July 27, somewhere within a few days, if not within a day or two after the events of the 27th". He said he got the information "years after" the incident and he never had the opportunity to discuss it with Mohammed.

Mohammed, who is a lawyer, told the Trinidad Express newspaper he would like to cross-examine Cumberbatch before commenting.

Nizam Mohammed

Cumberbatch also told the commission that shortly after the coup attempt he arranged for Mohammed to travel to Saudi Arabia on the invitation of one of the princes. 

He said it was "almost as soon as" the crisis ended and before the Parliament had reconvened to approve the extension of the state of emergency. 

He said the Speaker and Deputy Speaker were unavailable to attend the sitting because Mohammed was out of the country "on personal business" and Anselm St George was too traumatised to attend. The House elected Theodore Guerra to preside.

Cumberbatch also said Emmanuel Carter, who was acting president at the time of the coup, told him that if he had agreed to attack the Red House, many persons would have been killed, including the prime minister.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai