Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 9th 2014 Contents A7
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Chairman of the Las Alturas com-
mission of enquiry Mustapha
Ibrahim said yesterday the enquiry
would "adhere to the principles of
fundamental justice" and he intend-
ed to "ensure a sense of fairness per-
vades and permeates the conduct of
He gave the assurance in a brief
opening statement at the start of the
enquiry yesterday at the Caribbean
Court of Justice (CCJ), Henry Street,
The commission is to investigate
the circumstances surrounding the
construction of two multi-storey
apartment buildings at Las Alturas
housing project, Lady Young Gardens,
Morvant, in 2008 under the former
People s National Movement govern-
The buildings, which suffered
severe structural damage after con-
struction, are to be demolished as the
land on which it was constructed
began shifting. So far, only the win-
dows, doors and other fixtures have
The three-member commission
was appointed by President Anthony
Carmona eight days ago. On Septem-
ber 18, Prime Minister Kamla Per-
sad-Bissessar called for a commission
of enquiry into the construction of
Las Alturas housing project after rais-
ing concerns about the two towers,
valued $26 million, which are sched-
uled to be demolished.
Persad-Bissessar said then Oppo-
sition Leader Dr Keith Rowley, who
was a former housing minister under
the PNM, as well as Emily Gaynor
Dick-Forde who succeeded him, have
distanced themselves from blame.
In response, Rowley welcomed the
probe but said it would be another
waste of millions of taxpayers dollars.
Dick-Forde claimed when the con-
tract for the second phase of Las
Alturas was signed between the
Housing Development Corporation
(HDC) and China Jiangsu International Corp (CJIC),
she was the minister.
Ibrahim said yesterday the commission had
started to gather evidence and accompanying doc-
He said the counsel to the commission had
assisted in drafting procedural rules by which the
conduct of the enquiry would be guided.
The rules, he said, were to be posted on the
commission s Web site and comments and sub-
missions on them were invited from people and
entities who might be parties in the enquiry.
Dick-Forde, Rowley and Opposition Senator,
former HDC director, Faris Al-Rawi, are expected
to be among the witnesses to assist the enquiry
when it continues next year.
The first witness is expected to appear on January
Chairman: There will be sense of fairness
Chairman of the commission of enquiry into the Las Alturas Housing Development Mustapha Ibrahim, left, and commissioner Dr Myron Chin during
yesterday's formal opening of the enquiry at the Caribbean Court of Justice, Henry Street, Port-of-Spain.
• To enquire into procedures, practices
and procurement processes employed by
Udecott and HDC in the award of the con-
tract for the project.
• To investigate the circumstances con-
cerning the procurement process and the
award of all contracts since the inception
of the project.
• To look into the advice, reports and
minutes made available to the HDC, Ude-
cott, and the ministry concerning the suit-
ability or unsuitability of the site for the
construction of Las Alturas and the con-
sideration, if any, or action taken arising
out of the advice or report.
• Whether the board of HDC, Udecott
and the ministry commissioned proper
advices and reports into the suitability of
the site for the project.
• The reasons for and effect of the site
selection for the project and whether the
HDC, Udecott and the ministry commis-
sioned proper advice and reports into the
suitability of the site.
• Whether criminal and civil proceedings
should be recommended to the DPP.
• Retired Justice of Appeal Mustapha
• Structural engineering expert Anthony
• Retired UWI lecturer Dr Myron Chin
• Secretary to the commission Lorraine
Counsel for the commission is led by
Pamela Elder, SC. and includes Jagdeo
Counsel for the Housing Development
Corporation (HDC) is Larry Lalla
Venue: Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ),
Henry Street, Port-of-Spain
The enquiry resumes on January 26, 2015.
Terms of reference include
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