Up to this time there is no word on when government minister Marlene Mc Donald will appear in court.
NewsPower Now understands that Ms Marlene Mc Donald’s court appearance today has been put on hold, because she has had cause to seek medical attention. She was expected to appear at the Port of Spain Magistrate’s Court at 1 o’clock, to answer corruption-related charges . She was however taken to the St. Clair Medical Centre this morning, complaining of nausea and dizziness.
Ms. McDonald has been charged with several offenses of conspiracy to defraud the Government, and offenses of money laundering. Four other persons have been charged as co-defendants in these matters.
A statement from the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service this morning said Ms. Mc Donald has been charged alongside her common law partner Michael Carew, Victor McEachrane, Wayne Anthony and Edgar Zephyrine. Mr Zephyrine is a former chairman of the National Commission for Self Help, under the current administration.
Ms. Mc Donald has also been charged with misbehavior in public office.
Investigations into allegations of corruption, said to have been committed during the period 2008 and 2009, were commenced in 2016, and were carried out by Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police Toteram Dookie and a team of officers of the fraud squad.
The TTPS statement said that all the accused are expected to appear before the Port of Spain Magistrates Court today. The charges came last evening, at the end of an exercise, which began last Thursday, in which Ms Mc Donald was taken into custody, and underwent several rounds of questioning, ending in last night’s decision by the authorities, to press charges.
Earlier this morning, with word that charges were coming, the Government issued a statement to the effect that the Prime Minister was moving to advise the President to revoke her appointment as Minister of Public Administration.
It has since been confirmed that government Senator Garvin Simmonette is to be sworn-in this afternoon, as the new Minister. This ceremony is scheduled for 2pm. Mr Simmonette is a Port of Spain attorney whose father, the late Nicholas Simmonette, was a longtime PNM Senator, and General Secretary of the party. He acted as a temporary Government senator in the current administration, before being given a permanent appointment in September, 2018.