Tuesday, November 27, 2012

AG turns down request to halt CLICO/HCU probe: Report

The Guardian newspaper reported Tuesday that Attorney General Anand Ramlogan has refused a request from Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard to suspend the CLICO/HCU Commission of Enquiry.

The paper said Gaspard wrote Ramlogan asking him to advise President George Maxwell Richards to suspend the commission immediately, or at least to vary its terms of reference.

The Guardian said Gaspard told the AG that if he does not act on the matter immediately he would conclude that the AG is “abdicating his duty to preserve the integrity of the administration of criminal justice in this case.”

The Guardian also reported that Gaspard wrote commission chairman Sir Anthony Colman Monday expressing his concern over the AG’s refusal "to fully outline to Colman the consequences of the ongoing criminal probe into Clico and the HCU."

Gaspard told Sir Anthony continuing the enquiry is likely to delay a prosecution and jeopardise the police investigation. He warned the commissioner chairman, “There would be a greater sense of outrage if the continuation of your enquiry were to result in a potentially strong and credible prosecution being stayed as an abuse of process.”

The Guardian said the DPP told Sir Anthony “The Hon AG...took the position that he could not advise you on how to conduct your enquiry as you were wholly independent and need only take advice from counsel appointed to assist you in the conduct of your commission.”

But Gaspard asked Colman to "refrain from making any finding that anyone might have committed a criminal offence, issuing any Salmon letters to anyone, or making anyone give evidence who had said they intended to exercise his or her privilege against self-incrimination."

Gaspard said if his letter "did not find favour with the commissioner" he would like to be allowed to appear before the commission.

Sir Anthony has already advised the DPP that he does not plan to stop the enquiry. The Secretary of the CLICO/HCU enquiry last Thursday wrote Gaspard advising him that the commission would continue to hold its sittings in public because to do otherwise would be “contrary to the public interest.” 

The letter by Judith Gonzalez referred to Gaspard’s concern about the effects of the Police probe on any potential criminal trial.  “If your letter is to be read as an invitation to cease the conduct of the Enquiry in public and with full media access, that invitation is declined as being contrary to the public interest,” she said.

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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