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Wednesday, December 12, 2012



PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Wednesday December 12, 2012 – Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar has said that international soca star Machel Montano will have to “pay” for breaking the law after he was convicted earlier this week of five criminal offences.

"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,” Prime Minister Persad Bissessar told reporters on Tuesday night during her annual Christmas Gift Outreach in Mayaro, south of here.

Montano and Kernel Roberts, the son of deceased calypso legend Aldwyn “Kitchener” Roberts, will re-appear in court on January 12, next year for sentencing.

Montano, 36, was accused of assaulting four people and using obscene language during a fracas outside a nightclub in the capital on April 26, 2007.

Roberts, the composer of several of Montano's hits, was found guilty on two charges of assault.

Prime Minister Persad Bissessar , who has appeared on stage with the singer over the past few months, said she  would not comment on the verdict “in any adverse manner” and that she has not spoken to Montano, his lawyers or to his family on whether they would be appealing the magistrate’s ruling.

Montano has been courted by the four-party coalition People's Partnership administration, and used to stir the patriotism of citizens during the nation's 50th anniversary of Independence celebrations.

Earlier this year, Planning and Development Minister Dr Bhoe Tewarie announced a five million dollar (One TT dollar = US$0.16 cents) deal in which Montano would partner with the government to compile a CD to commemorate the country's 50th anniversary of Independence.

The state-owned Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT), which has a big endorsement deal with Montano, has issued a press statement, standing by him.

Persad-Bissessar said she could not comment on the TSTT endorsement. (CMC


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