Tell us the truth, Dr Rowley. That’s the call from Public Relations Officer for the United National Congress, Rodney Charles.
Charles made the call in reference to the PNM Leader’s changing statements regarding his knowledge that David West is a witness in a private court matter involving him.
“Dr. Keith Rowley admitted in the Parliament on 20th February 2015 that he did not discuss with the Prime Minister or His Excellency President Anthony Carmona the fact that Mr. West was a witness for him,” Charles noted. “The Opposition Leader went on to say, in Parliament, that as far as he was concerned, there was no requirement to discuss with The President the fact that Mr. West was a witness for him in a private lawsuit in which he was a party.”
“Two weeks later, at a cottage meeting in Marabella, Dr Rowley changed his story, claiming that he had no idea that Mr West was a witness in his case,” Charles added. “What is the truth?”
The UNC PRO asked, “Dr Rowley owes an explanation to the people of Trinidad and Tobago – did he or did he not know that West was his witness? Or did his lawyer hide material facts from him and he didn’t know about West?”
Charles noted that if the latter is the case, then the competence of Dr Rowley’s lawyer, who is also Public Relations Officer of the PNM, Faris Al Rawi is called into question. Charles contended that Mr Al Rawi has also been disingenuous in his responses on this matter.
“It is now public knowledge that the PNM PRO is both lawyer in this matter and a witness in the same case. This is clearly in breach of the Legal Profession Act,” Charles noted.
“Mr Al Rawi claims that the rule against being a witness for your own client is not mandatory. However, the Rule is in Part A of the Code of Ethics. Under Sect. 35(2) of the Legal Profession Act, a breach of these rules “may” constitute professional misconduct. This means that in some circumstances, there is the possibility of misconduct – but that is a matter for the Disciplinary Committee of the Law Association to find.
“It is no defence to say simply that the rule in question is not mandatory. Indeed rule 1 at Part A of the Code of Ethics mandates Attorneys to “observe the rules of this Code, maintain his integrity and the honour and dignity of the legal profession.”
“Rule 35(2) of Part B of the Code must also be noted:
“(2) Breach by an Attorney-at-law of any of the provisions of Part A of this Code while not automatically amounting to punishable professional misconduct is a derogation from the high standards of conduct expected from an Attorney-at-law and may, depending on the circumstances of the particular case, amount to such misconduct or form a material ingredient thereof.”
“The PNM PRO is also wrong in stating that as an Instructing Attorney the rule does not apply to him,” Charles stated. “The definition of “Attorney-at-Law at Sect. 2 of the Legal Profession Act means a person whose name is entered on the Roll. The Code of Conduct in this instance makes no distinction.”
The United National Congress calls on both Dr Rowley and Mr Al Rawi to come clean on this matter, in the public interest.
For further information please contact: Rodney Charles, PRO/Campaign Chair
Phone: (868) 322-1766 – email: firstname.lastname@example.org