The below release was sent by the NTA Pol Leader:
The NTA shares the shock and deep concern of all right thinking citizens regarding the chain of events, leading to the decision to discontinue the corruption case against former Attorney General Anand Ramlogan and Senator Gerald Ramdeen. As has been confirmed in the October 10th press release issued by the Attorney General, the DPP’s decision to discontinue stems from the main prosecution witness refusing to give evidence, pending the outcome of civil litigation against the State claiming an indemnity in respect of the fine of $2.25 million he was ordered to pay by the High Court. Any such indemnity by the Government as has been alleged by Vincent Nelson, clearly pushes at the boundaries of separation of powers, particularly having regard to the DPP having exercised his powers to enter into a plea agreement with Nelson. The NTA is calling upon the AG to disclose by Publication, the Civil Claim files by Nelson against the State. Full Transparency is required.
Section 90 of the Constitution makes it crystal clear that the DPP’s decision to discontinue any proceedings is not subject to the instruction, direction or oversight of the Attorney General. Imperfect though our Constitution may be, the AG is bound not only to respect it but also to uphold it. The press release by the AG however instead seems to double-down on the Government’s attempts to encroach on the independence of the office of the DPP. This is no less than the continuation of a pattern by this PNM administration to practically erase the lines that demarcate the separation of powers under our Constitution. From the gerrymandering of legislation requiring a special Parliamentary majority so as to be enacted with only a simple majority, to interference in the process of selecting the Commissioner of Police, to encroachment on the independence of the DPP, this pattern continues to become more akin to dictatorship than democracy.
This entire debacle again points to serious flaws in our Constitution, particularly regarding both the protection of independent offices and accountability of office holders. Constitutional reform is high on the NTA’s agenda and is critical for restoring the trust and confidence of the people in the arms of the State, which has been completely and utterly lost under this Government. Until we can make that a reality, the NTA will continue to defend the Constitution and hold the Government to account in this regard. In light of the collapse of this case, the Attorney General must now fully and frankly account to the people of Trinidad and Tobago by making public the full details of the proceedings brought by Nelson against the State. This fiasco demands no less than complete transparency by the Prime Minister and his Attorney General.
NTA Political Leader