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Trinidad - Drug : Wanted Trini held at London’s Heathrow Airport

Port of Spain, 9 May 06 [AlterPresse] --- A suspected drug lord, who fled the country after was wrongly freed by Justice Herbert Volney, has been arrested in London.

Rick Anthony Gomes was held on Friday at London’s Heathrow Airport and was yesterday taken to the Bow Street Magistrate’s Court in Middlesex, England, where he was informed that the Trinidad and Tobago Government wanted him extradited to this country to face drug trafficking charges.

Gomes and Venezuelan Luis Blanco Gomez were in 1998 charged with possession of 17 packets of cocaine, weighing 25.5 kilos, for the purpose of trafficking.

The drugs were allegedly found at Gomes’ Spanish Villas apartment in Mount Hololo, St Ann’s.

Gomes, who was also charged with possession of a packet of cocaine weighing 1.5 kilos, went to Barbados two days after the trial and did not return.

Gomez went to Venezuela on December 18 last year and he, too, has not returned to T&T.

Volney created a firestorm after he failed to put the case against the men to a jury and upheld a no-case submissions.

The State subsequently appealed the decision and the Court of Appeal, comprising then Chief Justice

Michael de la Bastide and Justices of Appeal Sat Sharma and Mustapha Ibrahim, ruled that Volney was wrong and ordered that the men be re-tried.

The Court of Appeal then noted: “The judge should have sufficient confidence in the jury to rely on them not to be influenced in coming to their verdict by the fact that they are dealing with a ‘drug case’ and that an acquittal may seem as ‘sending the wrong signal.’

“There are some indications in the learned judge’s ruling that he may have lacked that confidence and that this may have conduced to his taking the course which he did.â€

However, their ruling never came to pass because the men fled the country. [Deceyon Exilus apr 09/05/2006 18:00]