Faris’s antics over the “news” about the Piarco civil corruption cases in the US courts would be amusing if it disclosed anything new, noteworthy or even newsworthy.
Al-Rawi is known for his outrageous lies in this matter. What Al-Rawi should be addressing however is the fact that it was under his tenure as AG that the PNM withdrew the civil corruption case against former Executive Chairman of Petrotrin Mr. Malcolm Jones for $1.2Billion and the $35Million claim against the former PNM appointed Board of E-Teck over the failed bamboo investment deal.
Had the $1.2 Billion loss suffered by Petrotrin as a result of the failed gas-to-liquids project where the plan has to be eventually sold as scrap iron is what crippled Petrotrin and led to its eventual closure. Had Al-Rawi pursued that claim, there is no doubt that the public would have benefitted from a billion-dollar judgment and Petrotrin would not be closed today with thousands on the breadline.
He should also be speaking about his government’s failure to appeal the AV drilling matter by going against the advice of their own senior counsel. This cost taxpayers over a hundred million dollars.
Even more troubling was the case against Ashton Ford where no defence was filed. When that matter came up for a trial on the 15th May 2019, no lawyers from the Office of the Attorney General attended Court. As such, the case was undefended by Attorney General Al-Rawi. As a result, the High Court by Judgment dated 18th March 2022, awarded the sum of $2.65 million in damages, cost and interest to Mr. Ford and Mr. Edwards.
Mr. Ford is a former General Secretary of the PNM and Mr. Edwards is a former Mayor of Arima controlled by the PNM.
It is interesting that Al-Rawi is desperately trying to distract attention from the judgment of the Privy Council which is due to be delivered on Thursday morning. We cannot help but wonder whether Al-Rawi’s shenanigans are an attempt to create a diversion to distract people’s attention away from this historic judgment.
After all, he was the one who, together with Rowley, proudly announced the proclamation of section 18 and the postponement of local government elections from March 2023 to March 2024.
Al-Rawi’s incompetence and lies will be exposed one by one. The chickens are coming home to roost and his attempt to use this case as a political comeback in the face of his series of well-known legal defeats is transparent and laughable. His place as the most incompetent AG alongside Armour is sealed in the annals of our political history.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition
15th May 2023