CHRISTIAN Chandler, head of the police department’s legal unit, was charged Friday evening with offenses related to an incident at sea on his private yacht in August.
Late last night, Chandler was treated while in Maloney Police Station where he had been in custody since his arrest at his Maraval home on Wednesday and under investigation for allegedly violating the Emergency Powers Section 3 (1) (c) (No 2) Regulation 2021, which currently makes it an offense to be on a body of water such as a river or beach for recreational purposes.
He was also under investigation for allegedly obstructing members of the T&T Coast Guard and for allegedly possessing a firearm not covered by a firearms license. Sources said he should be charged with one count of allegedly violating public health regulations, two counts of obstructing the coast guard and two counts of possessing a firearm without FUL.
Chandler is represented by attorneys Wayne Sturge and Alexia Romero who on Thursday threatened to go to court for a habeas corpus order if a decision was not made by investigators to release or charge him.
His lawyers complained that he was detained for more than 20 hours without any charges being brought against him. They also alleged that his family members were “intimidated and questioned” by police at the station and that investigators were trying to get him to incriminate himself.
He was questioned Thursday by investigators and an identification parade took place on Friday. In response Thursday, a police department lawyer said Chandler was being held for three offenses: violating emergency powers regulations; willful obstruction of the Coast Guard and possession of a firearm without a firearms license.
It was also confirmed that Chandler had been questioned, after which “investigative team officers would determine if further investigations are needed or if your client will be charged or released.”
The attorney said Chandler’s case was being actively pursued and receiving all the attention and action it needed and asked his attorneys to hold hands over the filing of the habeas corpus order.
Officers from the Office of Professional Standards, led by Superintendent Suzette Martin, are leading investigations involving Chandler and three other officers who were also to be charged with breaking regulations and willfully obstructing the Coast Guard.
The incident at sea was also the subject of an investigation initiated by the former Police Services Board, in addition to allegations surrounding the issuance of firearms licenses.
His attorneys were late last night hoping to secure a bond from the resort for their client.
Chandler was sent on administrative leave in August after the alleged incident on his private yacht on August 5, by former commissioner Gary Griffith.
Chandler was appointed head of the police department’s legal unit in April 2019. The unit was formed that month and he reported only to the commissioner.