Trinidad and Tobago - PRIME Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has asked that the President revoke the appointments of Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, National Security Minister Gary Griffith, and called for the resignation of the Director of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) David West, for their roles in witness-tampering investigation ordered by Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams.
Former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, attorney Garvin Nicholas will be the new Attorney General, and retired Brigadier Carl Alfonso is the National Security Minister. The Prime Minister has also removed Senate President Timothy Hamel-Smith, Sports Minister Rupert Griffith, Ministry in the Works and Transport Minister Stacy Roopnarine, Minister in the National Security Ministry Embau Moheni, and Justice Minister Emmanuel George. Persad Bissessar has given up the portfolio of Social Development and People Ministry.
Legal Affairs Minister Prakash Ramadhar will take on the Justice Ministry. Former advisor in the Office of the Prime Minister Christine Nawal Hosein is the new Minister of Social Development and the People. Soca Warrior footballer Brent Sancho is the Sports Minister, NJAC's newly elected leader Kwesu Mutima is now a minister in the Works and Infrastructure Ministry. - Trinidad Express
Persad-Bissessar speaks to the meat of the matter
There have been allegations being made by the current Director of the PCA, regarding the Attorney General.
The Director of the PCA has signed a statement in which he claims that the Attorney General had asked the Director of the PCA to withdraw his witness statement in a defamation matter against the Opposition Leader.
The Attorney General has vehemently denied the allegation.
The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service has confirmed that an investigation is being conducted into the matter.
More recently, the Minister of National Security has become embroiled in the matter.
It is alleged that the Minister, upon the advice of the Attorney General, telephoned the Director of the PCA to query whether he had withdrawn a statement.
That alleged incident also forms part of the police enquiry.
Debacle stems from a defamation case against Opposition leader Dr Keith Rowley
Ramlogan, in September last year, filed another defamation case against Rowley for the allegations he made firstly in the Parliament in 2013.
Rowley had presented a series of e-mails to the Parliament which, he said, implicated the Prime Minister, the Attorney General and then local government minister Suruj Rambachan and National Security Minister Gary Griffith in criminal acts and a massive cover-up. Rowley allegedly claimed that certain individuals were being secured by these actions.
The emails after seeking the assistance of Google inc, were found to be doctored.
Ramlogan claimed that Rowley later committed slander on the same issue during a public meeting in 2013 outside of the protection of parliament at San Juan. In an interesting twist, the director of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA), David West allegedly claimed that he was awarded the post in exchange for his withdrawing a witness statement in a defamation matter Ramlogan filed against Rowley. In that statement, West claimed that Ramlogan did not refer to a precedent of dropping parallel criminal charges to allow for the extradition of businessmen Steve Ferguson and Ishwar Galbaransingh to the US.
Ramlogan is now under investigation as a result. Ramlogan has also been removed as the attorney general by the PM.
Ramlogan released the following statement
I understand and accept the decision of the Honourable Prime Minister to relieve me of my duties as a Senator and Attorney General. The Prime Minister has acted in the public interest to uphold the Constitution and the Rule of Law and I support these higher ideals.
The job of Attorney General is a challenging and difficult one. I was marked from the day I was appointed, as I became a favorite target of forces opposed to the Government. It has not been an easy ride but I am happy that I was given the opportunity to have been of service to my Government and country.
I wish to thank the many who supported me during my tenure. My accomplishments, dedication and hard work would not have been possible without their loyalty and commitment. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to serve in the Peoples' Partnership administration and wish to reassure the Honourable Prime Minister, my Cabinet colleagues and the public that I remain firmly committed to building a better nation for our children to inherit.
As I did before, I shall continue to serve the less fortunate in our society as an attorney-at-law. I ask that due process be allowed to take its course so that the necessary investigations can be completed in a professional and expeditious manner. I am confident that the political conspiracy will be exposed, justice will be done and that I will emerge victorious in the end.
Anand Ramlogan, SC
Dated: MONDAY 2ND FEBRUARY, 2015
Jack Warner - Independent Liberal Party add his five cents
PRESS STATEMENT - One would have thought that the Hon Prime Minister, more than anyone else, having regard to the events of the past four years, would have used the opportunity to make a clean break and bring a fresh administration to the office of the Attorney General. This would have given confidence to the Rule of Law and to the administration of justice.
We now have the spectacle of a successor to that office who is not distinguished in any way and, because of his antecedents will carry on as if nothing has happened. We cannot expect to see any change. This is but the second occasion in the recent history of this country when I am forced to comment that we have an AG who is seriously in need of legal advice.
I now call for a forensic audit of all those persons, locally and internationally, who have been beneficial in legal, quasi legal and paralegal work identifying the total amount of fees, disbursements and perquisites that have been paid to them. I will like particular attention to be paid to Larry Lalla, Gerald Ramdeen, Wayne Sturge, Jagdeo Singh and Kelvin Ramkissoon.
The PM has acknowledged that the accusation of witness tampering by the former AG is a serious and frightening matter. But her puppet-masters had her postponing decisive action until late in the day. Her address to the nation should have been made since Friday or Saturday last, instead of her dilly-dallying and having the Nation paralyzed.
Even the PM is learning she cannot cross the powerful cabal whose motto is "one for all and all for one" and if you cross us you pay the price. Poor Gary Griffith...cut down because he stood up for principle and truth...and I suspect his wife Nicole who seemed to be the unannounced COP candidate for Tunapuna will no longer be acceptable to the cabal, the true executioners and manipulators of the dying COP. They will instruct COP to look for another candidate for Tunapuna. Poor Stacy whose only fault is reporting on Suruj Rambachan. But more importantly poor T&T.
Griffith was making a small dent on crime but they do not care about that. He is now the enemy. They put loyalty to the UNC above solving the crime scourge.
From day one, I kept warning the PM that this AG was the worst in our history and he would be the downfall of her government. It was plain for all to see, if they wanted to see or were not blinded. But I suppose the cabal hands squeezing her throat were not only suffocating her but were blinding her. The removal of Ramlogan's hands around her throat may allow her to breathe a little better but the persons whom she has appointed including her new Minister of Sport, Brent Sancho, an employee of SIS, will bring no comfort to her but, more importantly, the nation at large. There are still other hands to be amputated before she and this nation can exhale that deep breath of relief and regain hope and this includes Rambachan and Moonilal. These stifling hands must be moved before the elections later this year or the people will move them with their votes.
Independent Liberal Party