CWC Media passes held up for security investigations in T&T Guyana Chronicle
March 1, 2007

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) – Close to one hundred local journalists who have applied for accreditation to cover Cricket World Cup (CWC) matches in Trinidad and Tobago are being investigated by Special Branch police officers.

And this has caused a delay in the handing out of media passes for the tournament because local Special Branch officials have not conducted background checks on individual journalists, photographers and cameramen who applied for the passes.

On Tuesday, members of the media with accreditation applications, turned up at the Accreditation Centre at the Queen’s Park Oval to collect the passes, but were told that the passes were not available since Special Branch had not yet given clearance for the passes to be released.

Assistant Police Commissioner Randolph Protain, who is one of the coordinators of the security arrangements for CWC 2007, said Special Branch was still engaged in carrying out security checks with respect to issuing passes for the games -- including warm-up fixtures -- from March 5 to 25.

He promised that passes would be available tomorrow at the accreditation centre.

According to Protain, the accreditation centre is not yet fully operational and every effort is being made to have it in full in gear by tomorrow.

He made it clear that media workers will not be prevented from photographing and interviewing members of the South African team when they arrive just after midnight last night at the Piarco International Airport.

He also revealed that the media will be allowed access to the South Africans today when they are engaged in practice session.

It is understood that Special Branch has to investigate every media worker who applied for passes to ensure that they do not have a criminal record, are not involved in illicit activities including terrorism, and are not linked to persons with questionable backgrounds.

Once those checks are carried out and the persons are cleared, the passes will be made available.

Since December last year, the applications for accreditation for the ICC World Cup Cricket were sent to Jamaica to be processed.