Home / View Point / Letters to the Editor / PNM Women’s League: Abuse victims deserve justice! Sabga must take info to TTPS

PNM Women’s League: Abuse victims deserve justice! Sabga must take info to TTPS

“[…] For decades, there have been relentless attempts by past police commissioners and more recently the Police Complaints Authority to bring a certain degree of closure and possibly the perpetrator(s) to justice for this heinous crime against an innocent child. 

“Many calls were issued for individuals with information to come forward and assist with the investigation. Sadly, Mr Robert Sabga, a former high commissioner to Canada and self-proclaimed victimologist, did not heed this call and now, 24 years too late, he is claiming he knows as fact ‘the DNA of two individuals found in his body, I will say no more at this time’…”

The following is a media statement issued by the PNM National Women’s League, chaired by MP Camille Robinson-Regis, on a 1997 Task Force into abuse at local children’s homes and recent statements by Task Force chair Robert Sabga on the unsolved sexual assault and murder of Akiel Chambers:

Photo: A Trinidad Guardian front page featuring murdered child, Akiel Chambers.
(Copyright Trinidad Guardian)

The sexual assault and subsequent murder of 11-year-old Akiel Chambers remains a stain on this country’s history. For decades, there have been relentless attempts by past police commissioners and more recently the Police Complaints Authority to bring a certain degree of closure and possibly the perpetrator(s) to justice for this heinous crime against an innocent child. 

Many calls were issued for individuals with information to come forward and assist with the investigation. Sadly, Mr Robert Sabga, a former high commissioner to Canada and self-proclaimed victimologist, did not heed this call and now, 24 years too late, he is claiming he knows as fact ‘the DNA of two individuals found in his body, I will say no more at this time’.

The National Women’s League of the People’s National Movement is calling out Mr Sabga. No, Sir, you need to say more at this time. Not just on the Akiel Chambers sexual assault and murder, but on the rationale behind you sanitising and lounging on the Report into the Operations at Children’s Homes in 1997—a report from all accounts that spoke of horrendous torture against vulnerable children in our society, housed at these institutions. 

You, Sir, were tasked with compiling a Report following intensive interviews with children. You, Sir, failed those children.

Photo: Robert Sabga chaired a 1997 Task Force into abuse at Trinidad and Tobago children homes, set up under the then UNC Government.

Your pronouncements that there was no evidence, thus you didn’t see the need other than to dispense the Report to former Social Development Minister Manohar Ramsaran is a weak and pathetic excuse! 

You, Sir, had a duty to this country and more importantly the children allegedly being abused at those Homes. Nothing you say can excuse or erase your selfishness in holding such a Report and not presenting it to the T&T Police Service for a thorough criminal investigation. 

We now urge Mr Sabga to contact the T&T Police Service so that Akiel Chambers’ family can finally get closure. 

Recently, the Minister for Gender and Child Affairs laid a similar report in Parliament and the Prime Minister sought to address the matter head on! The League wants justice for Akiel! Justice for all the child victims—named and unnamed—in the 1997 Task Force report.

We are therefore calling on those bent on politicising the deaths and sexual assault of our child victims to stop. If you have information, take it to the TTPS. Be part of the solution!

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5 comments

  1. Sorry, Camille, sorry, PNM Ladies, you have completely missed the boat here.
    This would-be righteous indignation is unrighteous because it targets the messenger.
    You should train your guns on the message contained in this little fact: an institution set up to house and protect children was unlicensed 25 years ago when Mr Sabga investigated; 25 years on, when Mr Sabga speaks out, it continues to be unlicensed—and continues to operate!
    Raising your voice in favour of putting systemic safeguards in place is likely to be much more useful than crying crocodile tears over spilt milk.

    • Earl Best

      Sabga also had something like this to say at the end of his conversation with Dale and Tony on i95.5 FM:
      “Sheep spend their lives afraid of the wolf but in the end it is the shepherd who eats them.”
      Would the Women’s League care to comment?
      (I think I know the answer but I ask the question for the record.)

  2. One can only laugh at PNM and other politicians (as well as Task Force members) who sat in the 90s and subsequent Parliaments and allowed this report to be stifled, but who now want to make hay. These people are sickening.