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Trinidad: Police officer guilty of forging sick-leave certificate

By Trinidad Newsday

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(TRINIDAD NEWSDAY) —   A police officer will know on November 27 the sentence a judge will impose on him for adding a zero to a sick-leave certificate for six days, thus turning it into 60.

The offence was committed 13 years ago.

Yesterday afternoon a jury found Nigel Ramlal, 39, of Point Fortin, guilty of forgery and uttering a forged document.

Justice Carla Brown-Antoine remanded him into custody pending sentence. The penalty for the offence is a fine or jail term.

State attorney Veonna Neale-Monroe, instructed by Victoria Manun, led evidence from nine witnesses in the case. She argued that on July 25, 2006, Ron Ramlal went to the Point Fortin police station and handed a sick-leave certificate to a police officer on behalf of PC Ramlal.

Before a jury of nine members and Brown-Antoine in the San Fernando High Court, retired ACPSamuel Jemmott testified that part of his responsibility was to document sick leave certificates for police officers.

Jemmott testified that he noticed a zero had been added after the figure’6 and the letters “ty” to the word “six.”

Supt Kent Ghisyanwan, who heads the Anti Corruption Investigation Bureau (south), investigated. He testified that he interviewed a Dr Ramsingh, who issued the certificate, as well as Nigel Ramlal.

At the time Ramlal was a constable stationed at Santa Flora police station. Ghisyanwan arrested him.

Prosecutor Neale-Monroe tendered a copy of the certificate issued by the doctor, the one tendered by Ramlal, police notes from an interview of the accused, specimens of his handwriting and that of the doctor, certificate of analysis and a search warrant for Ramlal’s home.

Ramlal, represented by attorney Subhas Panday, did not give evidence. However, he denied the allegation.

Brown-Antoine ordered a probation officer’s report to be filed on or before November 27. Panday will make a plea in mitigation, after which the judge will pass sentence.

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