Shri Basdeo Pande, leader of the opposition and former Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago was arrested by the police on corruption charges on May 31, 2005 after he had seen off the Indian delegation, led by Parliament Speaker, Shri Somnath Chatterjee. The Indian delegation had gone to Trinidad to participate in the 160th anniversary of any Indian'sarrival in that country. An ARSP delegation, which had gone from India to participate in this celebration, was also present at that time.
Besides Shri Pandey and his wife, two others were also arrested.
Irrespective of the nature of the charges against Shri Pandey, his arrest was ill-timed as it came on the day after the historic celebration. Such a move gave no consideration to the national observance of an historic event. It appears that the government deliberately chose this moment for the arrest of Shri Pandey. Such an action is seen as a political vendetta against Shri Pandey and is a blatant attempt to humiliate him during the visit of the delegation of the Indian government, which had conferred one of the highest honours on a person of Indian origin living abroad. Shri Pandey declined to be released on bail and preferred to stay in the prison. He appeared before the magistrate on June 7, and was later released on bail. The case comes up for hearing in September this year.