I note with frank amazement and due concern the latest statement by Attorney General Reginald Armour (dated June 20, 2022) regarding his blatant lying on an affidavit about his involvement as a defense attorney in the Piarco Airport matter that is currently being litigated in the US Courts.
In this statement, AG Armour has finally capitulated to the ongoing pressure and exposés of myself and other members of the Opposition UNC of his deceitful conduct in this matter, which essentially amounts to him committing the crime of perjury.
He has also, most significantly, finally ADMITTED to lying on the affidavit. In the statement, AG Armour states:
“I consider the concerns being expressed to be plainly legitimate and I ought to therefore respond to them in greater detail.”
Yet, he has opted to admit to his legal sins only after weeks of non-stop public pressure, a draft Motion of No Confidence against him by the Law Association, and a Motion of No Confidence against him being brought by the Opposition UNC in the Parliament.
It means he never had any intention of admitting to lying until he was forced to do so. It is a testament to his arrogance and contempt for the citizens of this country, who he serves and who pay his salary.
What is most disturbing about AG Armour’s pathetic, long, self-involved, excuse-ridden statement, however, is the fact that he is still refusing to take full responsibility for his actions!
Instead, he is shockingly seeking to blame others, including, indirectly, his own Cabinet colleague and predecessor, Faris Al Rawi, for his reprehensible conduct! This is frankly outrageous and unacceptable.
The AG’s claim that he lied on the affidavit because he could not recall details of the case without his notes due to a 14-year-old gap is simply laughable and frankly unbelievable. How can AG Armour really expect any right-thinking person to believe that he forgot his own significant role in one of the biggest cases of his legal career? Does he take us for fools?
Even if we are to believe he is now slipping into the age of forgetfulness, why did he not do the responsible thing and simply call upon his vast resources of supporting legal staff to furnish him with said details before preparing his affidavit?
Exact, truthful statements in affidavits and other legal documents are a standard bearing of legal practice that every single junior lawyer learns on his/her first day on the job. Surely, AG Armour, a Senior Counsel of nearly two decades, and a legal practitioner of over 40 years would know this and not make such an amateurish, dangerous error!
The fact remains that he clearly and deliberately lied in the affidavit, because he knew the gravity of the legal misdeed that he had committed could have severely compromised the matter and his own position as Attorney General. He is now trying to cover his tracks and act like he was just a forgetful, junior amateur doing sloppy legal work on a significant case, and no one is buying it.
Essentially, AG Armour’s statements confirm that he has brought his office and our country into grave disrepute, not just nationally, but throughout Caricom and internationally, via his dangerous lie. By his own words, he has also admitted that he is simply unsuited and unqualified for the prestigious office he now sits in, at the sole behest of Prime Minister Rowley. He has also confessed to lacking competence, integrity and common sense.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition
21st June, 2022