A three-man commission of enquiry, headed by retired Justice Mustapha Ibrahim, into the PNM administration’s Las Alturas project will determine if there are grounds for criminal or civil action concerning the dead-ended $40 million project, says Attorney General Anand Ramlogan. At yesterday’s weekly government press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister, St Clair, Ramlogan said the other two appointees were structural engineering expert Anthony Farrell, who is a past president of the Association of Professional Engineers, and structural engineering consultant and retired UWI lecturer Myron W Chin.
Ramlogan said: “Justice Ibrahim has over 51 years’ legal experience, Mr Farrell has 46 years’ experience in his field and Dr Chin 51 years’ experience as a structural engineer and retired lecturer. Combined, they have 150 years of collective experience.” The Prime Minister recently announced there would be a commission of inquiry into the project in Morvant, which was built during the PNM’s tenure and subsequently had to be demolished owing to structural problems.
The AG said the commission’s terms of reference included enquiring into the relevant facts and circumstances to determine whether grounds existed for either criminal or civil liability. He added: “Almost $40 million of taxpayers’ money has almost disappeared. “This is a fiasco of gargantuan proportions… it must be painful for the public to see the two towers constructed and they now have to pay to have it demolished. There are many questions we hope this CoE will answer for the public.”
On the inquiry being initiated just before an election year, Ramlogan said no government could ignore the expenditure of tens of millions to construct two towers for citizens who then had to turn around and pay again for them to be demolished. “It’s scandalous,” he added. The hearings will be held at the Caribbean Court of Justice, Port-of-Spain. Ramlogan also said the report from the Clico commission of enquiry was expected around Easter next year. The Hindu Credit Union report has been received.