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Machel Montano, l, with Harry Belafonte at the NY Carnival, September 2012. (NAN file photo/Hayden Roger Celestin)
News Americas, PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Fri. Jan. 18, 2013: Trinidad & Tobago’s reigning Road March King and Soca Monarch, Machel Montano, will get a chance to enjoy Carnival 2013 after all and defend his title.

Montano’s sentencing on five criminal charges that was slated for Thursday, Jan. 17th, was yesterday postponed by Magistrate Maureen Baboolal-Gafoor. His new sentencing date is now February 25th.

The news means Montano, the headline act for several Carnival 2013 fetes, will actually be able to perform live for fans, including at his own show Machel Monday scheduled for February 4th. T&T carnival is in high gear now and will run until Feb. 12th.

Interestingly, Montano had told fans before the sentencing hearing that he will be seeing them live at the performances, including at his alma mater this Sunday.
On Thursday morning, lawyers representing Montano and those from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, spent about three hours making legal submissions to the magistrate before a packed to capacity courtroom, at the Port of Spain Magistrates Court.

The legal arguments surrounded whether or not Montano and his co-defendant, songwriter and producer Kernal Roberts, should be sentenced to community service for the offences that date back to 2007.

Montano and Roberts were found guilty on December 10th, last year of assaulting four patrons outside the Zen nightclub in Port-of-Spain.

Four of the charges against Montano was for assaulting four patrons. A fifth charge was for using obscene language during the same incident.

Under Trinidad & Tobago law, Montano, 38, could be ordered to pay TT$4,000 and serve a term of imprisonment for five years. He has denied the charges brought against him, stating, instead, he was the one who was attacked by the group and spat upon.

Ironically, Montano has released a single for carnival 2013 called “Don’t Judge Me,” even as group called the International Radio Emergency Support Coalition, sent a letter to the UN Women Caribbean Sub-Regional Programme calling for Montano’s title of goodwill ambassador to be revoked.

However, John Hubertson of the UN’s public information department said he is unable to find Montano’s name on the list of goodwill ambassadors worldwide and questioned whether the soca artiste’s title of UN Goodwill Ambassador is accurate.

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