Saturday, October 27, 2012

Rowley says if Ramlogan is AG Ish and Steve would walk free

Keith Rowley:  "I am saying move him now."
Keith Rowley claimed on Friday that businessmen Ishwar Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson would walk free from any legal challenges if Attorney General Anand Ramlogan remains in office.

The Opposition Leader made the point as he presented his arguments in favour of a censure motion against Ramlogan in which he demanded that Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar fire Ramlogan because the AG no longer has the confidence of the Parliament. 

Rowley insisted in his motion that Ramlogan be held responsible for the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Bill 2011, which contained the controversial Section 34 clause that was subsequently repealed. He said Section 34 created the opportunity for the businessmen to be freed.

Rowley stated that Ramlogan has a conflict of interest in the matter and therefore cannot protect the public's interest.

He said if the public interest is not protected the Prime Minister has a duty to relieve fire him and hand the job to someone else. 

"To hold on to him in that office so as to allow him to be the maker of our case as the people of Trinidad and Tobago where his personal involvement and shortcomings in this matter cannot be reasonably expected to be part of the submissions in any court is to say that from today or long before today it is the expectation of this Government that the State's case whatever it is will fall," Rowley declared.

He repeated what he had said before - that the early proclamation of Section 34 was a conspiracy involving the AG.

Galbaransingh and Ferguson are facing charges in the United States with respect to the Piarco Airport Terminal construction. 

Ramlogan signed the extradition order to send the men to the U.S. to face trial.
However Justice Ronnie Boodoosingh ruled that they should not be extradited but tried in a local court, noting that the State lawyer's had failed to argue key points. The state did not appeal that ruling.

Rowley said the expectation was that the men would face trial in the local courts.
Instead, Section 34 was proclaimed early, giving them an opportunity to go to court to have their matters thrown out.

Rowley argued that even with the repeal of Section 34, the men have an opportunity to argue their case for freedom all the way to the Privy Council.

"I am saying move him now," he said. "If he stays in office, I have no confidence and the country by and large has no confidence that he can do differently and on that basis would be a travesty indeed if this Attorney General is left in charge of this process to continue to try to fool us that it was some oversight," said Rowley.

"The Attorney General cannot in any good conscience be allowed to remain in office to be in charge of this process to the end when he is so implicated in failing in his duty," he added.
Rowley argued that section 34 was a "brilliant manoeuvre" by the AG, not an oversight as claimed by the government.

Rowley had some questions with respect to Ramlogan's duties:
  • Why did he not appeal Justice Boodoosingh's decision and apply to put fresh evidence before the Court of Appeal that Section 34 now renders the local trial impossible?
  • Why did he tell the public that he decided not to appeal because there was to be a local trial when he knew that once Section 34 was proclaimed these certain persons would be discharged?
  • Why did he not take steps to amend the sixth schedule of Section 34 so that these persons could not rely on it to escape the court?
  • Why did he not advise Cabinet on August 6 that the proclamation of Section 34 would mean that these certain persons would be entitled to be discharged?
  • Did he fail to do all these obvious things because it was his Government's intentions that those favourite persons should go free or was it his own private intentions?

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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