Today a shell-shocked former AG Faris Al Rawi tried to wriggle out of the mess he had created in the Nelson fiasco. He unsuccessfully tried to defend the wicked and malicious persecution of political opponents at his press conference.
This entire scandal of political persecution reeks of a devious arrangement among senior PNM government officials, PNM-affiliated attorneys and a few PNM-affiliated public officials. It is only due to the decency and integrity of DPP Roger Gaspard that this devious persecution was confronted and stopped.
Al Rawi desperately evaded crucial questions, seeking refuge in adverse pretrial publicity for a case that now exists only in his imagination. How could there be adverse pretrial publicity when there is no case before the court?
He constantly used the fig leaf of seeking legal advice from the Prime Minister’s personal friend, lawyer and golf buddy Gilbert Peterson and attorney Douglas Mendes. Mr Mendes and Mr Peterson must provide the legal advice they proffered to Mr Al Rawi. These two senior attorneys who are closely associated with the PNM must also account for their advice in this scandal.
Al Rawi must answer the following questions:
1. Did the Prime Minister know about the indemnity agreement? And if so, did he approve it?
2. Did he discuss the indemnity agreement with any other government minister or did he act alone in committing the state to this limitless financial risk exposure to Vincent Nelson KC?
3. Why did Al Rawi in his letter of December 7th 2020 tell the DPP that he was concerned about the perception of “undue influence” as a result of these payments?
4. By letter dated December 7th 2020 Al Rawi sought the approval of the DPP to pay Nelson’s lawyers. Roger Kawalsingh 6.6m and Tom Allen KC 2.75m dollars. The DPP refused to approve these payments and instead rebuked Al Rawi by telling him it was “improper.” The DPP further warned that the resulting fall out would be a matter for Al Rawi and his legal advisors.
5. Why did Al Rawi nevertheless go ahead and pay Nelson’s lawyers such exorbitant sums instead of heeding the warning from the DPP contained in the DPP’s letter of December 16th, 2020. The DPP stated that “it would be improper for my office to associate itself with this development”.
6. Why did Al Rawi agree to pay all damages and legal costs for Nelson if Ramlogan and Ramdeen successfully sued Nelson for defamation of character.
7. Why did Al Rawi agree to hide Nelson’s tax fraud from the UK government as part of the indemnity agreement. Why did Al Rawi continue to pay monies to Nelson’s lawyers after the DPP by letter dated December 23rd, 2020 inform him that his office, “is loath to involve itself in any manner or form, with any “Indemnity Agreement” or its corollaries.”
Al Rawi is the chief architect of the Nelson scandal which has a risk exposure of 200m, 150m alone of which represents Nelson’s claim against the State. He is a disgrace and must resign forthwith.
Rowley must tell the nation if he knew about the indemnity agreement and was thus part of this malicious conspiracy.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition
12th October 2022