Chinese national Lu Wuying was remanded into custody yesterday, after being charged with attempting to bribe a police officer in Princes Town last week.
Wuying was arrested on August 2 at the Joy Xin Supermarket where she worked as a cashier. According to the charge, she corruptly gave a gift of $2,000 to Sgt Roger Richardson as an inducement or reward for his not reporting the detection of a male person of Chinese descent suspected of being an illegal immigrant.
Wuying was detained for 10 days at the Princes Town Police and yesterday, attorneys Subhas Panday, Petranilla Basdeo and Kiran Panday filed a writ of habeas corpus calling on the police to charge or release her. However, even if Wuying was released on the charge she would have remained in custody, as her visa expired in January.
The matter came up for hearing before Justice Devindra Rampersad in the San Fernando High Court. In his application, Subhas Panday told the court that under the Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago, an arrested person should be taken before the relevant authority to be charged as soon as possible. He said 10 days is too long for a person to be kept in custody without being charged.
Panday said Richardson’s explanation that he could not meet with the DPP was not sufficient. He said if Richardson could not meet with the DPP, he should have tried meeting with the Deputy DPP, who has an office in San Fernando, for instructions on whether to charge Wuying. However, by way of state attorney Trisha Ramlogan, Richardson said under the Prevention of Corruption Act, only the DPP can have given instructions to charge Wuying in the matter.
Rampersad ordered that Richardson inform the court by 3 pm whether instructions were given to charge Wuying and the matter was stood down. When it was called again at 3 pm, the instructions were given to charge Wuying. Panday withdrew the writ and asked that the state cover the costs.
Rampersad ordered that the office of the AG pay the cost of Wuying’s legal team in the sum of $7,500.