Sacked Justice Minister Herbert Volney has told Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar she should fire National Security Minister Jack Warner and Attorney General Anand Ramlogan. Speaking to reporters during the tea break at yesterday’s sitting of the House of Representatives in Port-of-Spain, Volney told reporters his constituents saw Warner and Ramlogan as baggage that would hamper her from succeeding as Prime Minister.
The St Joseph MP said his constituents thought that carrying baggage was only going to distract her work in succeeding. Volney said Warner’s non-government related issues were not the problem. “She should not have to consider (issues relating to) the personal life of the Minister of National Security and that sort of thing. Those are matters that she should not have to deal with,” he said. He said Warner and Ramlogan were “attracting too much bad press to her Government.”
Speaking about the Defence (Amendment) Bill, Volney said initially he was not going to support the measure in Parliament but changed his mind. “When I heard the Prime Minister give assurances, which was conciliatory, to protect the civil rights of citizens, I had a second look at it and I am satisfied that it is something I can support,” he said.
Volney said the bill was a step in the right direction and would allow the Defence Force to assist the police. However, he was not happy with the direction of some of the anti-crime measures that are coming to the Parliament. “I think that we have lost our way,” he added. Volney said while he would support the legislation his deep concern was that the latest measure was not going to make any significant dent on crime.
He said he was of that view because the Defence Force was already working with the police but he saw a need to do much more than that. He added: “What was more urgently required was for evidence-gathering to be easier for the law interdiction forces as it related to gang offences. That is the kind of changes I want to see brought about.
Volney said there was need for a gun and drug court at the Santa Rosa prison facility, suggesting also that accused people entering there should only be able to come out if they were acquitted or had served time after conviction. “That is the way to clean up the streets of gangs and that is not what I am seeing in the Parliament at this time,” Volney said. He also said the Anti-Gang Act was not working and should be amended and he had told the Prime Minister so by e-mail.