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Magistrate Dismisses Trumped up Charges against Ram Seegobin

13.01.2005

Thursday, 13 January, 2005. Port Louis. Today in the District Court of Port Louis Number Two, the Magistrate Pentiah dismissed the charges against Ram Seegobin. The judgement was expected to have been postponed because the case is connected to another case against Lalit member, Lindsey Collen who is also Rams partner, and whose case is due to be continued next Wednesday, 19 January in the same Court.
The police were not able to substantiate their case against Ram Seegobin. This was not surprising because the case was a political charge from the beginning, and was characterised by unusual administrative mix-ups.
The charges against both Lalit militants date back to 2002 when they were attending a preparatory meeting with other Lalit members and with members of some 20 organizations in the NO TO BUSH front, which was organizing a demonstration against George W Bush for when he was due to come to Mauritius for the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) summit. The police were on the private premises of a church social centre when the preparatory meeting for the demonstration was being held.
Ram Seegobin stated to the Press that he considers this kind of case something that follows naturally from his militant political activities, given the kind of State we live in.
The case against Lindsey Collen continues on 19 January. It is unclear why the police decided to charge the two members in two distinct cases, except that perhaps they estimate that the harrassment value of two cases is greater.