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Yearbook 2003

Trinidad and Tobago. According to Countryaah.com, Trinidad and Tobago Independence Day is August 31. 71-year-old former university lecturer George Maxwell Richards was elected in February as new president of parliament. Richards, who was the government’s candidate, won the opposition candidate, banker Ganace Ramdial.

The same month, The Mirror’s daily newspaper was stormed after employees were taken hostage by a radical Islamist group. One month earlier, The Trinidad Express newspaper reported that two journalists had been abducted with a blind eye by a group of perpetrators who claimed to belong to a radical Islamist organization. The kidnappers said they had the capacity to manufacture chemical and biological weapons to be used against US and British targets in the region if the US-led coalition on terrorism started wars against Iraq. In June, a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison for kidnapping was introduced as a result of the events earlier in the year.

In November, the country’s highest court, the British Privy Council in London, announced that Trinidad and Tobago’s mandatory death penalty for murder violated the Constitution. A dozen previous death sentences could thus be annulled and the convicted could have their sentences reconsidered.

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