Attorney General Anand Ramlogan has pelted back at the Opposition PNM with its own motion: Commitment to Democracy.
During his contribution in the Senate on Tuesday, AG Ramlogan accused the Opposition of systematically dismantling the Constitutional independent institutions of the State and he called on the PNM to provide answers to several outstanding questions.
Under the PNM rule, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan recalled that the offices of the Director of Public Prosecution, Solicitor General and Chief Parliamentary Council remained vacant for an unwarranted period – a fact not missed by the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago at the time.
So it was pure irony to him that the PNM would now be questioning the PP Government’s commitment to democracy.
“The tentacles of the PNM wanted to reach and over-reach into the Office of the Attorney General, straight down into the Solicitor General’s department because that is civil law. They were already interfering with criminal law in the DPP’s department, they were then therefore interfering with the civil law in the office of the Solicitor General and the Chief Parliamentary Council. That was PNM’s democracy and that is your legacy. That is your political posterity and that is your political paternity.”
After acting in the position for several months, Roger Gaspard was confirmed as the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in March 2010.
The AG disclosed a letter from his predecessor, Mr. John Jeremy to Mr. Gaspard.
“This is where they were going and then when the DPP stands up, the PNM Attorney General tells the DPP ‘desist from pointing out matters to me’ which, with respect, are not only wrong in law, he is the adjudicator, the Attorney General is now the Chief Justice under the PNM, the PNM arrogates on to itself the right of the Chief Justice to say it’s wrong in law and quite frankly, out of your place. Second time he tells the DPP that you are out of place.”
While the DPP continued to stand his ground, AG Ramlogan pointed to what he thought may have been distressing the then Attorney General.
“You know what it was? It was this: May 31st 2009, Jeremie tried to force DPP to charge Panday and Duprey.”
This led him to another issue: the departure of Brigid Annisette-George from the AG post to make room for Mr. Jeremie.
Mrs. Annisette-George said it was for personal reasons but then Prime Minister Patrick Manning said it was because of a perceived conflict in the CL financial affair.
“Today, I want to ask Senator Hinds, could you come clean and tell the country, why did former Attorney General Brigid Annisette-George suddenly flee the office of the Attorney General in the most mysterious and recondite circumstances ever because it remains a political mystery that has not been answered. What was the conflict of interest she had with Clico? Did Mr. Manning misinform the nation? Did she mislead the nation? What was the nature of the conflict of interest?”
Adding to his argument on the PNM’s non-commitment to democracy, AG Ramlogan knocked the Opposition for leaving the Integrity Commission and the Equal Opportunities Commission unfilled.
But he said he knows why: “That is why they could not implement the Equal Opportunities Commission because they knew very well the political discrimination was rampant, it was rife and they had penetrated every institution in Trinidad and Tobago. That was their modus operandi. And I ask the question today, how many more letters like this exist, whereby to get a work, you had to have the blessings of Balisier House.”