PORT OF SPAIN — “I am very sorry for what has happened. I think he is a great musical icon. We all agree on that. We are very proud of his talent, but when you break the law, you have to pay for it.”
That was the statement made by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday on soca star Machel Montano being convicted on five criminal charges.
Persad-Bissessar was speaking with reporters during her annual Christmas Gift Outreach at the bpTT Grounds in Mayaro last evening.
Montano has been courted by the People’s Partnership administration, and used to stir the patriotism of citizens during the nation’s 50th anniversary of Independence celebrations.
Guilty as charged
Montano was on Monday found guilty of four charges of assaulting Russell Pollonais, Brandis Browne, Janelle Lee Chee, and Gerard Bowrin outside the Zen nightclub in Port of Spain on April 26, 2007.
He was also found guilty of using obscene language that night.
Also found guilty of assaulting Pollonais and Browne was Kernal Roberts, the son of the late calypso icon Lord Kitchener.
Two other entertainers, Rodney Benjai Le Blanc and Joel Zan Feveck, were found not guilty on assault charges by Magistrate Maureen Baboolal-Gafoor.
The families of several of the victims feel that Montano has shown no remorse, and Browne believes the entertainer should serve prison time for the offences.
Montano and Roberts face a maximum five years in prison for the offence of assault occasioning bodily harm.
Persad-Bissessar, who was accompanied on yesterday’s gift-giving exercise by Member of Parliament for Mayaro Winston Gypsy Peters, said of the verdict: “Why I will not comment on it in any adverse manner (is because) I have not spoken to him, to his lawyers or to his family or to him (regarding) if they placed an appeal at the court.” (Express)