Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 10th 2015 Contents KALIFA CLYNE
Attorney General Garvin Nicholas has
admitted that a report into the cost of
legal fees incurred by the Office of the
Attorney General laid in Parliament last
month was filled with "administrative
In a telephone interview on the issue,
Nicholas said he had received the report
and read it but had not had time to con-
struct a response for the media.
While he did not provide detailed infor-
mation, Nicholas said the report confirmed
that entries of lawyer fees presented in
the statement had been duplicated and
some figures were incorrect.
Nicholas requested the report from his
permanent secretary after several incon-
sistencies were pointed out by attorneys
named in the document and former attor-
ney generals John Jeremie and Ramesh
Lawrence Maharaj called for a probe.
Following the publishing of payments
to attorneys, several lawyers indicated their
intent to initiate legal action against the
AG s office.
Nicholas said while he had been infor-
mally apprised of the concerns by some
attorneys, he was not aware that any legal
action had been taken against his office
in relation to the matter. He said he ordered
the report following calls from lawyers.
"At a cursory glance it would seem that
figures were duplicated.
"From the report I can say it was an
administrative error. Two documents were
used when gathering the information and
the error happened because of this," he
Nicholas did not give any further infor-
mation from the report, indicating he
needed time to prepare a report. He did
say that despite the duplication of entries,
there was no duplication of payments.
"Even though there have been admin-
istrative errors in the document, the
lawyers weren t paid for those errors. That
money did not leave the ministry," he said.
Nicholas said the $343 million quoted
in the document was therefore incorrect
and would now have to be corrected in
the Parliament, adding his ministry would
work on ensuring that was done.
One source told the T&T Guardian that
some of the fees in the report were not
in line with the Civil Proceedings Rule
which guided lawyers on how much they
should charge for their services.
"While some fees are clearly duplicated,
there are names of lawyers missing from
that document. All of it has to be correct-
ed," the source added.
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Less than 22 hours after being approached
for help, CrimeWatch host Ian Alleyne was
able to find the $.6 million backhoe that
mysteriously disappeared from a water
project site opposite the Diplomatic Centre,
St Ann s.
The equipment, a Caterpillar 432E, licensed
TDC 2349, was believed to have been stolen
some time between last Thursday night and
Monday morning, ironically mere metres
away from the official residence of Prime
Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, which is
The backhoe, which was discovered miss-
ing at about 7.30 am on Monday when the
owner visited, had been on the site for the
past five weeks.
Subsequent to a plea on CNC3 s Crime-
Watch programme, an anonymous caller
contacted Alleyne on Tuesday and divulged
Alleyne subsequently went to Chunnie
Singh Street, Guaico, Tamana, where the
backhoe was discovered parked behind some
trees in a cemetery. A party of police officers
from the Sangre Grande Police Station were
The owners of the backhoe were able to
confirm it was theirs by matching the chassis
number from documents they had in their
Speaking with the T&T Guardian, the
owner claimed he was shocked something
that big could have been stolen in an area
where there were so many surveillance cam-
eras but thanked Alleyne and the police for
helping them recover it.
The number drawn yesterday on Crime
Watch was 602010.
If the number on the Xtra Foods trolley at
the back of your yesterday s T&T Guardian
was 602010, you have won $13,500 cash and
$1,500 worth in vouchers from Xtra Foods.
You have until 3 pm today to come to the
T&T Guardian s office, 22-24 St Vincent Street,
Port-of-Spain, with the newspaper containing
the winning number and photo identification.
Lawyers not paid twice
AG admits error in legal fee figures...
Members of the Valiants Cricket Club pay their
final respect to their captain, Anil Gokool, during
his funeral yesterday. Gokool was killed after a
car ploughed into him while he was changing a
tyre along the Solomon Hochoy Highway on
Easter Sunday. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
Lost backhoe found hidden in cemetery Xtra cash jackpot
now at $15,000
A report published by the T&T
Guardian last week, indicating
payments on the inquiry into the death
of baby Simeon Cottle, was therefore
inaccurate as a result of the error in
the AG's report.
Justice Mustafa Ibrahim received
$500,000 for his role, Petronella
Manning-Alleyne received $190,000
for her role, while British gynecologist
Dr Melanie Davies received $114,490
and attorney Debra Coryat received
$30,809.52 for administrative services.
Additional funds were spent on
accommodation at the Hyatt Regency
and Hilton hotels.
The total spent on the inquiry was
This was confirmed in the minutes
of the first meeting of the Parliament's
Finance Committee on June 23, 2014.
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