ANTHONY B RELEASED FROM COURT IN TRINIDAD AFTER DETENTION
A team of court marshals and law enforcement personnel detained Rastafarian reggae artiste Anthony B on Sunday morning at 1 a.m. just minutes after his powerful performance at the Haseley Crawford training grounds. He was escorted to court immediately to answer to charges of absconding a debt of US$6,000.
He was represented by attorney Fitzgerald Hinds in court, and he appeared before Justice Des Vignes at Court 20 at Hall of Justice. The Judge ordered that the Raid the Barn singer be released at 4:15 am on Sunday.
"They came for me just a few minutes after I had finished performing, they didn't want to put any handcuffs on me because they were afraid of how the crowd might react...I am just sorry that I wasn't able to sign any autographs for the long line of people backstage," he said through a statement issued by his publicist Claude Mills.
Anthony B said he was aware that there was a problem with the promoter and complainant Barry Lewis who had booked a show two years earlier. He had been unable to go to the show because of his legal problems in the US which prevented him from honouring that booking at that time.
"That show was booked by the booking agency Destiny out of New York and the promoter had no email or contract, but I offered to return his money several times, but he refused because he wanted to be the first to carry me to Trinidad in five years," he said.
Anthony B said that the promoter of the Hassle Crawford show in Trinidad was aware of the problem and had made provisions to pay the court the full sum owed.
Anthony B commended the professionalism of the law enforcement officials and the excellent conduct of the judge that would go along way to "improve Jamaica-Trinidad foreign relations".
"They were very professional, they escorted me to the court without any incident. The judge also adhered to the full protocol of the law, he asked the promoter what he wanted from me away from the money he was owed. The promoter wanted to get a stoppage order that I couldn't come back to Trinidad to perform unless it was for him and the judge refused to do that because that would infringe on my 'employment of trade' rights," he said.
Anthony B was ordered by the Court to pay the complainant Barry Lewis US$7,000. Lewis also claimed that he ought to be paid TT$5,000.00 for his legal expenses.
"But the judge had not been advised about this money as it wasn't in the original claim, and it was an expense that the promoter claimed he incurred pursuing this case, so that has not yet been resolved," he said.
In March this year, Anthony B was exonerated on a 2013 charge against him for possession of marijuana in the United States.
Anthony B is expected to return to the island today.