OPPOSITION TO FILE PRIVILEGES MOTION AGAINST ATTORNEY GENERAL AL RAWI FOR LYING TO THE HOUSE
The Attorney General placed on record and informed the public that the Law Association and the Assembly of Southern Lawyers (ASL) had supported the Evidence (Amendment) Bill 2020.
Three days later, in a media release dated 8th February 2021, the Law Association in effect denied the claims made by the Attorney General as they have said that they cannot support the Bill in its present manifestation.
Further, in a letter dated 11th February 2021 to the Attorney General, the Assembly of Southern Lawyers (ASL) wrote to the Attorney General stating that his statements were untrue and they have categorically stated that the ASL provided no comments to the Special Select Committee and at no point in time did they indicate their support of the Evidence (Amendment) Bill 2020.
As recently as yesterday, we saw the Attorney General making comments that may amount to a contempt of court, regarding an active case before a High Court Judge. Now, in the full glare of the public, he has deliberately misled the Parliament by misusing the Law Association and ASL’s names.
As such, he has committed a contempt of the Parliament. The Attorney General, as titular head of the Bar, ought to have executed his duties in a truthful and responsible manner so as not to mislead the Parliament and the public. In a desperate attempt to garner support for a Bill he has misled the country.
The Opposition, at tomorrow’s sitting of the Parliament intends to raise this issue that the Attorney General has committed a breach of privilege of the House and should be referred to the Committee of Privileges.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Opposition Leader of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
10 February 2021