Tomorrow our Parliament will see the Opposition bring a motion of censure against the AG, Anand Ramlogan. The Opposition is charging that the AG was part of the Cabinet that promised to not enact the Bill before all measures were put in place and was also part of the Cabinet that then ignored these measures and facilitated the early...and secretive...proclamation of 5 sections of the Act one of which created an Amnesty for Ish and Steve Galbaransingh. As you well know, Ish, Steve and about 13 other people are facing charges of corruption and bid rigging over the billion-dollar Piarco Airport. They are currently seeking legal action against the repeal of the Indicatable Offences Act...the law that holds Section 34 in it. The following is the actual petition submitted by the Leader of the Opposition:Motion: 1. WHEREAS Section 76(2) of the Constitution specifies "that the Attorney General shall, subject to section 79, be responsible for the administration of legal affairs in Trinidad and Tobago and legal proceedings for and against the Sta
Kamla Rani needs new PR people because her spin has grown oooooold. In the wake of being caught sneaking the thieves out the back door the gaffes this lot have executed are inelegant enough to make you wonder if they could even manage to fake their way through a school play! From day one of the PP Misstep Dance...back in the days of inane things like missing pianos etc, the country has been treated with a special mixture of contempt and buffoonery, last night's press release from the PM indicating that she will speak out today is no different.
Last week in the Parliament the Attorney General told us that as soon as the Law was proclaimed and the Silkened PM realised the flaw...because she is a very good lawyer you know...the PM....without needing any consultation decided to convene PArliament to convene said law. What Ramlogan's comments suggested was that Madame Silk understood the matter so intimately that she herself came up with the idea to repeal the Bill and also suggested the retroactive wording in its whole repeal.
But clearly the PR Minion who wrote Anand's speech didn't speak to the PR Minion who wrote Kamla Rani's Press Release, because these are the words in them:
Soon after Section 34 was proclaimed, the Director of Public Prosecutions expressed concerns to the Attorney General regarding the implications and consequences of the event. The Attorney General sought an immediate audience with me and having examined the matter myself, I was satisfied that the consequences and far-reaching implications of this section were not consistent with Government policy. In the circumstances, I gave instructions for the Parliament to be convened immediately to consider a Bill to repeal Section 34...
Apart from taking immediate and necessary action to repeal Section 34, I chose to remain silent on the issue of its early proclamation because a premature commentary on the matter before all information became available to me would have been injudicious. Since then I have been personally enquiring into the circumstances...
In short, what the Prime Minister is telling us here is that the AG told her what to do, she convened the Parliament and then after that went to find out what really transpired with Section 34 of the Indictable Offences Act.....The PM is as good as saying that she didn't have a clue about what transpired with the Act....the Leader of Government, the head of our Parliament. The person who would have to make contact with the President to request proclamation of a Bill is saying that she didn't know the details about this law that she convened a Parliament to repeal. Don't expect a satisfactory answer or any shouldering of responsibility today folks...this lady really wants to move on!
The next person up to his neck in shit from his minions is Prakash Ramadhar. Ramadhar, the Minister of Legal Affairs, the man who has oversight for the Legislative Review Committee NEVER SPOKE during the sitting on September 12th. Instead what we received was a press release from party chairman Joseph Toney indicating that their political leader voted on a differently worded piece of legislation. Ramadhar remained silent throughout the clown acts put on by the AG, the Min of Justice, the Min of Sport, and the the Min of National Defence. There is not a word on the Hansard Record from our Minister of Legal Affairs. So while Ramadhar has come out to apologise to the nation in a press conference....the records of our Parliament will never show that one member of a Cabinet pointed out that another member of the Cabinet lied! And for that I will never forgive Ramadhar...the records should have shown that the Minister of Legal Affairs didn't see Section 34 of the Act.
Today the PM is promising to break her silence on Section 34, and lemme tell you, I hope them minions writing a good speech. Tuesday's march frightened the shit out of this government....generally thousands of angry black people on the streets of Port of Spain does get get all governments here antsy....and in the aftermath of that march suddenly the civil groups in our society found their balls (on recess somewhere in their large intestines) and spoke out.
Given the PM's tone in her press release she is going to use ignorance as her plea, and one throat will get buss! Teddy Ruxpin has been very silent in the last three days....I think we've seen the last of his smile. The government has tried it's best with the spin: they've blamed the PNM, pointed to the Laventille murder rate desperately and then toted Keshorn Walcott out again into Laventille to hand out houses...I suspect javelin throwing is part of the new crime initiative!
Volney will be the ritual sacrifice today, and Prakash Ramadhar will use this as a justification to remain in government....so all the rumblings about COP walking will mean nothing....too much gravy left for them to sop up!
The question is will he be replaced or his Ministry dissolved?
De Vice Cyah Done!
Does anyone remember how Herbert Volney entered local politics? On April 30th, 2010 the Trinidad Newsday published a cautionary opinion piece that said this:
"Both Senior Magistrate Ramraj Harripersad and High Court Judge Herbert Volney announced that they had resigned to become UNC candidates.
These developments are of great concern to us, and we share many of the concerns being expressed about these developments. We have no problem with former judges deciding to join political parties, and to run as candidates for these parties. ... How long have these consultations been ongoing while Mr Volney was sitting as a Judge? Would he have resigned his tenure if he had not been guaranteed a candidacy within the UNC? And what may we ask is the status of the cases he heard particularly in which he found against the State, even, as it now appears he was consulting with a political party? The situation has all the trappings of a “done deal” where a sitting Judge suddenly comes out a feisty anti-government candidate. There is something here which deeply offends our sense of ethics and indeed the impartiality of the judiciary. "
Long before Herbert Volney became the MP for St Joseph, a seat that was once held by Carlos John, a close friend of Volney's who was present with Volney at several political meetings during the 2010 election season and rumoured to be his campaign manager, it appears that his appearance as a political candidate caused problems and concerns for many in the legal fraternity. Volney in a 24-hr time frame resigned from the judiciary and showed up at Rienzi Complex for a candidacy screening the same afternoon....and the UNC, that party with firm ethical and moral resolve embraced Volney as a candidate. Perhaps much in the same way they embraced Marlene Coudray's candidacy.
The same Newsday article went on to say: "It is one thing to accept Mr. Volney’s complaints about the judicial system, it is another matter that he should have been making arrangements for his entry into politics while he was still on the Bench. We wait to hear reasoned opinion on this without the political slant. We expect the Law Association to provide us with comment on this unusual, but not entirely unprecedented situation. Quite frankly we are not impressed with the comments of the political parties on this, for we accept that their take will be hysterically partisan. "
Flash forward to Volney's tenure as Minister of Justice and begins to become apparent that his hasty decision to enter the political fray had some forethought to it. Volney's tenure as Minister of Justice has possibly two other milestones attached to it, the piloting of the flawed DNA Bill and the murder in Mt D'Or, a community in his constituency where he mouthed off at the police for being violent in a bid to show solidarity with his voter base.
For the last 2.5 years I thought Volney a colossal waste of time. Wondered why this Ministry of Justice had been created. Wondered too at the number of lawyers in our parliament and how so few of them seemed to understand the proper course of our legal and judicial system. Then last week, Anand Ramlogan and Herbert Volney's appointments began to make sense. Ramlogan, who during the Manning era had portrayed himself as the people's champion in his weekly newspaper columns, all of a sudden, seemed less enraptured with helping the people and more tied up doing nothing. Ramlogan, switching sides from the COP to the UNC didnt run for a seat, but entered Parliament as a senator and AG. His appointment becomes a crucial one. As Senator and AG he sits in both the Upper and Lower Houses for some debates. Ramlogan, it was thought would clean up the pool of corruption that they had blamed the PNM for committing. Hart, Pena, Manning, Sunway, Guanapo, UDECOTT, UFF Report and Squandermania became their constant mantras on the election trail. Yet, no sooner had they entered government and set up a Cabinet when Ramlogan's enthusiasm for rooting out corruption seemed to have dried up. In the last 2.5 years the only allegation Ramlogan has managed to throw at Manning is an alleged stolen piano that was at the Diplomatic Centre after all. The UFF report and its recommendations are all but ignored by this government. It turns out that the Guanapo Church lands remains as the property of the State, nothing is owned by Juliana Pena. Calder Hart remains in Florida untouched and unaccused. And UDECOTT is almost dismantled by this government, while they continue to give contracts to questionable people in all the wrong ways...pretty much perpetuating what they once condemned! The AG, it turns out, would be Volney's chief assistant in getting the Bill piloted through both the Lower and Upper Houses.
Now let's get back to Volney, who I like to call Teddy Ruxpin because of the silly "I just fart on all yuh and all yuh do know it" grin he sports all the time. It seems that for all Volney's loose cannon behaviour since the campaign trail, here is a man who understands our judicial system so well that he figured out precisely how to dismantle a decade-long case by the state against a group of persons with just one clause....chew on that folks....ONE CLAUSE would have led to our undoing against the perps in the Piarco Fiasco....and the one thing that tripped up Volney wasn't the Opposition or the Independent Senators....but a reporter, Denyse Renne. Had Ms Renne not buss the mark in last Sunday's Guardian, by Friday of this week the Piarco Perps would have had their petitions before the courts and today's headlines would have read: "Ish, Steve, John, Edoo, Kuei Tung, everybody and their Mother FREE!"
The country, I suspect, would have gone into melt down mode or just become completely catatonic...you see, what a lot of politicians just aren't getting is that Ish, Steve and the Gang walking free is actually akin to the Muslimeen 114 walking free. The nation went into shock after that verdict, and then it went into a social decline. Which shouldn't surprise us. Many members of the Muslimeen thereafter went into extortion rackets, were part of the illegal quarrying that runs rampant here, were part of kidnapping gangs, part of the "money-for"protection" game....part of all the major criminal activities that have been plaguing us for the last 20 years. If Ish and Steve walk free, how much you want to bet that over night fraud and other white collar crimes will jump up several notches, and blood crimes would have "gone clear".
Volney isn't just a smartman...he is a smart man. Volney understood that the Upper House would pass the Bill if they felt the Lower House had debated sufficiently on it and passed it. So he ensured that the wording seen by the Lower House was sufficiently (not totally) acceptable to them; he promised to put provisions in place; then took the Bill to the Upper House with new wording in Section 34. Had the COP and the Hansard records not confirmed it, I'd still be quarrelling bitterly with Colm Imbert this morning. Both the Upper and Lower House now smelling to high heavens of Volney's shit and really can't say a word....and the Government's only defence on this one is, The PNM Vote for it too.....but it is pretty apparent to everyone that is Kamla and them pass the bill...and it looks like they passed the bill to aid the legal cases of the Piarco Perps. There seems to be no other reason for enacting Clause 34 so soon.
Doesn't help either that Volney, the Minister of Justice, admitted this week that his Ministry booked rooms at the Hotel belonging to Ishwar Galbaransingh, a man the State has a corruption case against. So not only are we trying to free Ish, we putting $$$$ in his pocket. And Volney trying to skewer the issue with bullshit about whether or not he was drinking champagne....I don't care about the champagne...I care about the principle of the thing and the message it sends the citizenry. On the one hand we have people whose moral convictions are being raped every day, and on the other hand we have the "eat ah food" fanatics who see absolutely nothing wrong with the Government's behaviour, and and either defending it, or spending all their time deflecting PP Bullshit on the PNM.....because Manning caused this, yes?
This morning the shit thickened even further in an Express story that said, Volney Did It. And now we come full circle because the evidence is stacked up:
1. We know that Volney piloted the Bill with the help of Ramlogan.
2. We know that Volney presented one version of Section 34 to the Lower House and a different version to the Upper House with the help of Ramlogan
3. We know that Volney promised to implement all structures and frameworks before proclaiming the Bill and then reneged on that promise to Parliament.
4. We know that Volney requested that the Bill be proclaimed and then the Cabinet met and in a cloak-and-dagger fashion had the Bill proclaimed by the president while the population was distracted with Independence celebrations.
In short, members of Kamla Persad-Bissessar's Government appear to have conspired to hoodwink the population of Trinidad and Tobago
If Volney and Ramlogan don't go....then the Parliament should be dissolved!
De Vice Cyah Done!
A link to the Hansard Record pdf for interested parties.
I woke up this morning heart sick beyond belief over the fiasco that is Section 34 of the Indictable Offences Act.
After reading Clarence Rambharat's legal opinion on Section 34 of the Act and how it has been used as a legal loophole to free Ishwar Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson, I had to pause and have a good think.
I feel as if we are on the verge of collapse because what this government has shown us today is that they will rape the constitution of Trinidad and Tobago into oblivion to serve the needs and interests of its friends.
The issue of financing of political parties is thrown into full relief now because everyone should know that Ish and Steve are financiers of the UNC...they have also financed other political parties in the past, like the PNM, but they came into the spotlight in the late 90s as financiers of the UNC who managed to pour more than a billion dollars of the country's money into their pockets under the guise of building an international airport.
It is pretty well known that Ish and Steve have been facing corruption charges.
In Trinidad and Tobago most people don't take corruption and fraud crimes seriously, least of all our government and legal system...but the enormity of Ish and Steve's theft has most of the nation up in arms for over a decade. Today, 2.5 years of cunning, conniving and corruption came to a head as we saw the hard work of Hubery Volney, Minister of Justice; Prakash Ramadhar, Minister of Legal Affairs; and Anand Ramlogan, attorney general come to fruition.
Under the previous regime the team that was prosecuting Ish and Steve won every step of the case against them until Anand Ramlogan became AG and changed the team of prosectors at the 11th hour and miraculously Ish and Steve won their case against being extradited to the US and the AG assured us that they would receive a fair and speedy trial here. The US wasn't thrilled. They wanted Ish and Steve's heads too and were being denied. Ish and Steve walked free in the midst of the government sponsored State of Emergency. Now, in the midst of Independence celebrations for our 50th Anniversary the Govt tried to slip a new law out whereby a sub-section provided the loophole for Steve and Ish to petition the judicial system to have all charges against them be dropped.
The rub is that it is a piece of legislation that was agreed on collectively by both the lower and upper houses. Senators and MPs: Government, Opposition and Independent all saw the need to get rid of preliminary hearings. Section 34 caused concerns, Colm Imbert had raised them in the Parliament and according to both him and The Keith in this morning's press conference the government assured them that 1). The law would apply from when person's were found guilty and 2). The Law wouldn't be proclaimed until all systems and measures were put in place: so in short it wasn't meant to be proclaimed any time soon.
So while people were at separate Flag Raising Ceremonies on the night of August 30th, Kamla was getting Max (a complete dud in my opinion) to proclaim 5 sections of the Bill and thus enacting parts of the law. A part of the law that if Denyse Renne of the Guardian hadn't reported on, Ish and Steve could have quietly had their cases thrown out and walked free.
Parliament is convening tomorrow to repeal Section 34 after The Keith breathed fire and brimstone this morning and the US Embassy issued a veiled threat in a press release.
There is, however, no confirmation yet that Ish and Steve won't walk free...you see, they petitioned when Section 34 was part of a law....repealing Section 34 tomorrow may have no impact on Steve and Ish at all....and so, they may still walk away as free men....and then it remains to be seen what the US will do. In the meantime Kamla, Prakash, Volney and Anand have shown us just how nasty and insidious they are. They have shown us that a Government they will screw the entire nation over for their clique of friends and family.
It has become sickening the filth that they pass off as governance on a daily basis....and their supporters lap it up and regurgitate it for us. Whether or not Section 34 is repealed tomorrow it is TIME FOR THIS GOVERNMENT TO GO!
But lookout....by Friday we could be hearing that Steve, Ish and HD walking off into the sunset free as birds!