Elder slams police for holding Marlene longer than expected

Senior Counsel Pamela Elder who is representing fired Public Administration Minister Marlene McDonald has slammed the T&T Police Service for detaining her client longer than expected which resulted in McDonald falling ill this morning and being rushed to the St Clair Medical Centre for medical treatment. 

Elder spoke to the media outside the private hospital after visiting McDonald at the hospital around 11 am.

McDonald was scheduled to attend court today but complained of feeling unwell.
"Yes, my client is warded here. What has happened is wholly unfortunate and unnecessary because she was charged last night with all those offences and there was no reason whatsoever in law that she should have continued to be detained," Elder said.

 Elder said everything was in place for bail to be secured for McDonald last night.
She said the reason given by the police officers in delaying the process was that they had not been able to process the other accused. 

This led to McDonald being forced to remain in police custody, Elder said.

"When one considers how long she has been in custody it is not surprising that she has ended up here this morning."

Asked if she would pen a letter of complaint to Police Commissioner Gary Griffith on the issue. Elder said she would do whatever is necessary, again stating that her client should not have been admitted at the private hospital.

"From the inception of her arrest, she was told there were reasonable grounds to suspect that she had committed certain offences. So if the police has reasonable grounds to suspect, then why wait so long to charge?"

If after charging, Elder said why not ensure that the person is released to attend court this morning.

Elder refused to give details about McDonald's medical condition, stating that was a private matter, as she pleaded with the media to respect her rights to privacy.

"She is at present warded on the supervision of her doctors."

Will McDonald attend court today?

Elder could not say, stating that the ball was now in the court of Mc Donald's doctors.

- Shaliza Hassanali

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