Did Al-Rawi deliberately mislead Parliament on the Ford/Edwards lawsuit vs the State by telling Parliament, “I rise on the sub judice rule… I recall that this matter is a matter that is under appeal” TAXPAYERS MUST NOW PAY $2.670,951.00 BECAUSE THE AG DID NOT DEFEND THIS LAWSUIT AND NO APPEAL WAS EVER FILED!
Did former Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi deliberately mislead Parliament on May 16 2022?
During the debate on the Standing Finance Committee Report, Al-Rawi objected to Barataria/San Juan MP Saddam Hosein referring to a March 18 2022 High Court Judgment (CV-2014-02037) between Ashton Ford, Andrea Chambers-Wilson and Elvin Edwards vs The Attorney General, telling the Speaker, “I rise on the sub judice rule. I believe that matter is under appeal… Under the sub judice principle I am not talking about the written judgment, I am talking about the appeal of the judgment in relation to the judgment… I recall that this matter is a matter that is under appeal.” (http://www.ttparliament.org/hansards/hh20220516.pdf)
Speaker Anisette-George allowed Al-Rawi’s objection. In fact, this issue eventually led to Hosein being suspended from the House for seven days.
CV-2014-02037 involved three PNM political diplomatic attachés appointed by the Manning-led PNM Administration who were recruited based on a non-competitive employment selection process analogous to that which is used to appoint Political Heads of Missions and Ambassadors/High Commissioners.
Ford was appointed Cultural Attaché in London, Edwards, Information Attaché, Canada and Chambers-Wilson Information Attaché at the UN Mission in New York.
They sued the PP Government for “breach of contract” after their appointments were terminated in July 2010 after the May 2010 General Election.
They were represented by Michael Quamina who incidentally is the Chairman of State-owned Trinidad Petroleum Holdings as well as PM Keith Rowley’s personal Attorney.
The Defendant (Attorney General) was not attending and unrepresented.
Political attachés serve at the pleasure of the Prime Minister and according to a general usage and/or custom and/or practice and/or convention, are expected to demit office upon the expiration of the term of office of the Government which appointed them or offer their resignation at the start of the term during the term of the new political administration.
FORD AND EDWARDS WERE SUCCESSFUL AT TRIAL FOR ONE REASON (Chambers-Wilson did not proceed with her case); THE DEFENDANT (ATTORNEY GENERAL) DID NOT APPEAR AND WAS UNREPRESENTED!!!
Because the State did not defend this lawsuit, Ford was awarded TT$1,394,664.13 and EdwardsTT$1,276,287.49 plus 5% interest from the date of judgment.
Coincidentally, on the same day the court rendered its decision, Reginald Armour was named the new Attorney General.
According to court documents, there is no record of any appeal being filed in relation to these parties. The 42 days “Stay of execution order” ended on April 26.
According to the Judge, “The Defendant did not file any witness statements and so no evidence was presented on behalf of the Defendant. There was therefore no defence evidence for the Claimants’ attorney to consider. Additionally, the Defendant nor his attorneys appeared at the trial resulting in there being no cross-examination of the Claimants. The Claimants’ case, therefore, proceeded at trial as undefended. Further, no submissions were filed on behalf of the Defendant.”
Less than three years earlier, on July 31, 2019, the Court of Appeal (Civil Appeal P271/2017 CV 2017-00072) in the matter of Rowley and the Cabinet (Appellants) and Eden Charles (Respondent) ruled, “Having come to the conclusion that the representation of the government of the day on international matters was quintessentially a matter of political judgment and not within the remit of the court the logical next step ought to have been that in those circumstances the challenge to the Prime Minister’s decision to remove Charles as Ambassador was not one amenable to judicial review and in the circumstances non-justiciable.”
Ironically, Rowley and the Cabinet were represented by Reginald Amour, SC.
Taxpayers must now demand an explanation from the AG why his office DID NOT DEFEND THIS LAWSUIT? If he had, he would have had precedent by referring to the Court of Appeal’s ruling in the Rowley/Cabinet vs Charles and quite likely would have saved taxpayers $2,670,951.00.
Did Al-Rawi deliberately mislead Parliament on May 16 2022 when he said, “I rise on the sub judice rule. I recall that this matter is a matter that is under appeal.”
Since no appeal was filed, what exactly did Al-Rawi specifically recall?
by Capil Bissoon