The Sankat fam­ily speaks out

Stabroek News Sunday - - REGIONAL & WORLD NEWS -

(Trinidad Ex­press) The Sankat fam­ily has ex­pressed thanks to those who of­fered sup­port and prayers to their son, Nishal Sankat.

The 22-year-old was re­united with his fam­ily on Wed­nes­day night.

His fam­ily is­sued a state­ment yes­ter­day, say­ing the con­cern shown for their son and the sup­port­ive con­ver­sa­tions in the wider com­mu­nity on the health and other chal­lenges young stu­dents face es­pe­cially when away from home, were in­deed thought­ful, com­fort­ing and ap­pre­ci­ated.

“Pro­fes­sor Cle­ment Sankat and his fam­ily have been re­united with their son Nishal and would like to thank the Almighty for his gra­cious in­ter­ven­tion. The fam­ily is re­minded of Psalm 9:1, “I will give thanks to you Lord with all my heart, I will tell of your won­der­ful deeds”. The fam­ily thanks the peo­ple of Trinidad and Tobago, of Belize and West In­di­ans across the di­as­pora for their tremen­dous mes­sages of sup­port and prayers of­fered through­out this try­ing time,” the state­ment said.

The fam­ily ex­tended thanks to the Govern­ment of Trinidad and Tobago, in par­tic­u­lar, to the Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion and the Min­is­ter of Na­tional Se­cu­rity, and to col­leagues across the pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tors, fam­ily mem­bers and friends. “Sin­cere grat­i­tude is also ex­tended to Pro­fes­sor Sankat’s col­leagues at the Univer­sity of Belize and es­pe­cially to the Chair­man and mem­bers of the Board of Trus­tees. Our heart­felt thanks to col­leagues at the UWI, in­clud­ing the Vice-Chan­cel­lor, the Univer­sity Reg­is­trar and the Cam­pus Prin­ci­pal at the UWI St Au­gus­tine; other Fac­ulty and staff of both UWI and UTT for their prayers and good wishes. Thanks to the Hil­lview Col­lege and the Flor­ida In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy (FIT) fam­ily, in­clud­ing its Pres­i­dent, their staff and Nishal’s friends at both in­sti­tu­tions. To these, the fam­ily ex­tends sin­cere grat­i­tude for the sup­port re­ceived,” the fam­ily stated.

The Sankat fam­ily said that the State and Fed­eral au­thor­i­ties in Mel­bourne, Bre­vard County, Flor­ida, acted in a pro­fes­sional man­ner and also thanked the Govern­ment of Canada who took a keen in­ter­est in their son’s wel­fare. “The fam­ily is es­pe­cially grate­ful to his Dis­tin­guished At­tor­ney in Mel­bourne, Mr Greg Eisen­menger for his out­stand­ing ef­forts. A spe­cial thanks to Rev Brown and their fam­ily of Mel­bourne for their spir­i­tual com­fort and sup­port. It would be re­miss of us not to men­tion our na­tional air­line, Caribbean Air­lines for their sup­port­ive ad­min­is­tra­tion and flight crew,” it stated.

Mov­ing ahead, the fam­ily stated, fo­cus would con­tinue to be on their son’s wel­fare.

Sankat ar­rived in Trinidad at around 10:30pm on board a Caribbean Air­lines flight from the Fort Laud­erdale In­ter­na­tional air­port. He was ac­com­pa­nied by two FBI agents and his fa­ther.

Sankat, a stu­dent, was ar­rested on Septem­ber 21 af­ter he jumped a fence at the Mel­bourne In­ter­na­tional Air­port and at­tempted to en­ter the cock­pit of an Amer­i­can Air­lines Air­bus 321. The air­craft was parked in a main­te­nance hangar.

Sankat pleaded guilty to the charge of bur­glary to a con­veyance and agreed to be de­ported and to never be al­lowed to re­turn to the United States as part of a plea agree­ment.

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