Thursday, October 18, 2012

AG Ramlogan sends THA deal to IC, DPP and police for investigation

File: AG Anand Ramlogan
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan said on Wednesday he has sent the controversial deal involving the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) and Milshirv to the Integrity Commission, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Commissioner of Police.

"This matter has been referred to the Integrity Commission by the Office of the Attorney General and furthermore to the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Commissioner of Police for an immediate and urgent criminal investigation to see if there was misconduct in public office by Mr. Orville London by entering into this sweetheart deal under the table," Ramlogan said in the Senate during his contribution to the budget debate.

Ramlogan also said he has advised the Finance Minister to initiate legal action against the THA Chief Secretary. 

"I have advised that the Minister of Finance bring a claim and file legal action against Mr. London and the THA to seek a declaration of the court that Section 51 was violated and the action of Mr. London and the THA was illegal to enter into that BOLT arrangement."

He claimed that Chief Secretary Orville London breached Section 51 of the THA Act when he bypassed the Finance Ministry in approving the multi-million dollar Milshirv project.

The AG said the absence of tendering rules and the apparent preferential selection process smells of corruption.

"How did he know this man had a piece of land? And suddenly he had a vision, a dream and get up, vaps, jump up, pajamas on, and ran down the road and say Orville, I dreamt last night you want a complex to put the Agriculture Division in and I will build it for you. How this man know that? It's a strange case of political telepathy," Ramlogan declared.

He also questioned an advance payment to Milshirv Properties Limited. 
"Eighteen months rent in advance, the building hasn't gone up yet. Not even a post hole has been dug in the ground. I want to ask Mr. London whether he really crazy enough to pay $21.64 million through First Citizens Bank to the people."

London has disagreed with the government's interpretation of the BOLT arrangement, insisting that everything is above board. He reiterated the point on Wednesday.

"I really don't know what exactly the Attorney General is talking about and I don't really have too much concern about it. What we do we try to ensure we get appropriate legal advice and we follow the legal advice," London said. 

He added, "If the Attorney General's office has a differing opinion, well then that will be decided in the court of law. But as far as I'm aware we operated within the parameters of the law and of course everybody knows that we always ensure that we are honest in our dealings with the people of Tobago."

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai