How ironic it is that the said Privy Council that paved the way for the prosecution of these Defendants as a result of the actions taken by a UNC Administration has today, by applying the principles of fairness and the rule of law, been compelled to rule to stop those prosecutions as a result of the actions of a PNM Administration
The Privy Council has now confirmed that the reason for the failure of the prosecutions of Messrs Smith, Kuei Tung et al was the incestuous relationship that existed between (former) PMM Attorney General John Jeremie SC, the Manning-led PNM Administration and the former Chief Magistrate Sherman McNicols (PC Appeal No 0045 0f 2018).
This has brought to an end the rants of the PNM, only recently parroted by present PNM Attorney General Reginald Armour SC, that the demise of these prosecutions would have been another Section 34. The old adage “be careful that in digging a hole for your enemy you don’t fall in it yourself” comes to reality.
The people of this country have been deprived of the opportunity to bring these Defendants to justice not because of machinations of a UNC Administration, as the PNM would want you to believe, but due to the fact that the public interest, the administration of justice and the rule of law were sacrificed upon the alter of malice and political spite directed and targeted against persons alleged to be political opponents of the PNM.
The chief cook and bottle washer in this entire affair was then PNM and favoured AG John Jeremie SC. That this fiasco was presided over by the officer holder who is ceremonially referred to as the titular head of the bar is a shame to the legal profession and every member of the Trinidad and Tobago Bar.
This Piarco fiasco demonstrates in the most blatant manner the extent and the length that a PNM Administration will be prepared to go to destroy their political opponents, the fabric of our democracy and the rule of law. The decision of the Privy Council highlights the steps that were pursued by a wicked and malicious PNM Administration which included allegations against a sitting Chief Justice, his arrest and criminal prosecution and the setting up of an inquiry under section 137 of the Constitution to remove the late Satnarine Sharma from office as Chief Justice, each of which failed!
Every one of these steps involved the highest members of a PNM Administration including a Prime Minister who were prepared to abuse their power and authority to achieve their selfish political agenda at any cost to our country.
There is another old adage that says when you point one finger at your opponent, there are four pointing back at you. That is the saga of Piarco under the PNM. The story that is Piarco will reveal that while section 34 was remedied within a matter of days by a sitting UNC Government, taking immediate legislative steps to correct the legislative oversight and defending a Court action successfully, brought by the Defendants, all the way to the said Privy Council, that preserved the right of this country to prosecute these Defendants, the reason why the people of this country have lost that right is solely and fault of the PNM.
While that has been transpiring across the Atlantic, on the other side of the Atlantic there is the possibility the prosecutions that arose out of Piarco in a Miami Court are heading in the same direction as a result of actions of another PNM Attorney General. The PNM rhetoric continues to be “UNC financiers charged in The Piarco Airport Development Project Scandal” but the reality is that prior to becoming UNC financiers in 1995, these appellants were all PNM financiers. Could it be a coincidence that it was the actions of a PNM AG Jeremie that were responsible for the failure of the prosecutions in relation to the charges in Piarco No 1 that, for all intents and purposes, ended today and the actions of another PNM AG Reginald Armour SC can possible be responsible for the failure of the second set of prosecutions in Miami? To answer yes to this question will be an afront to common sense! These Defendants owe a great deal of gratitude to the PNM and their Attorneys General. They have done well to set them free!
The PNM have been hoisted on their own petard. The Defendants will now walk free. The causalities in this entire affair are the people of Trinidad and Tobago who have been denied justice, the rule of law and the administration of justice. Dr Rowley must now accept responsibility for the incompetence, political malice and maladministration of the members of his political party that today after 22 years has been exposed for what they truly are.
How ironic it is that the said Privy Council that paved the way for the prosecution of these Defendants as a result of the actions taken by a UNC Administration, has today by applying the principles of fairness and the rule of law, been compelled to rule to stop those prosecutions as a result of the actions of a PNM Administration.
Let the people of this country judge for themselves!