Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 15th 2015 Contents A16
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, May 15, 2015
Convener of the Roundtable meeting,
Movement for Social Justice leader
David Abdulah, yesterday welcomed
the statement by deputy DPP Joan Hon-
ore-Paul that the Prime Minister and
her colleagues were not cleared in the
Honore-Paul s press release on
Wednesday came just hours after Abdu-
lah and the amalgamation of political,
social and civil groups came to the similar
conclusion after their joint meeting at
Ambassador Hotel hours earlier.
Former attorney general Ramesh
Lawrence Maharaj and former head of
the Police Service Commission, attorney
Nizam Mohammed, were guests at the
Roundtable session to give their legal
and political opinions on the suspension
of Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley.
The Diego Martin West MP was sus-
pended from Parliament on May 8 after
a motion of censure, challenging his
statements on the Emailgate matter, was
approved by government MPs. During
the debate all members of the Opposition
walked out of the Lower House and
vowed not to return unless the suspen-
sion was lifted.
The suspension continues until Par-
liament is dissolved on June 17.
Maharaj said Rowley could use his
suspension from Parliament to "bring
the government to its knees" and while
he had a strong legal case, Maharaj
advised Rowley to fight the matter polit-
He said Rowley s suspension was a
"declaration of war" on all citizens, not
just the PNM, and added that it was
He added: "The Parliament had no
jurisdiction to do that because the only
jurisdiction they can have to do it is if
they follow due process of law.
"In the Constitution of T&T, it guar-
antees that with respect to the enjoyment
of fundamental rights, the enjoyment of
property for example, if your salary is
going to be taken, due process of law
must be followed.
"If you are suspending someone, you
have to give that person the due process,"
Maharaj said the muzzling of any
opposition leader set a serious precedent
and could lead to a government removing
an entire opposition bench and ruling
unchecked for the five years.
"It is as if the Government has decided
to use its power to overthrow the Con-
stitution of T&T and declare war on
every individual in T&T. Make no bones
about it, the was a declaration of war
against every PNM member in this coun-
try, every UNC member, every COP
member, every partnership member," he
Ramesh on Rowley's suspension:
It's a declaration of war
Opposition Leader Keith Rowley, left, PNM labour relations officer Jennifer Baptiste-Primus (partly
hidden), OWTU executive Peter Burke, Ozzi Warwick, OWTU's chief education and research officer, OWTU
president general Ancel Roget and former attorney general Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, SC, in a huddle
after the Roundtable meeting at the Ambassador Hotel, Long Circular Road, St James, on Wednesday.
PHOTO: JEFF MAYERS
'US LAWYER'S LETTER MISGUIDED'
Mohammed said the Prime Minister's US
lawyer in the Emailgate case, Jack Russo, may
not have been aware that the Integrity
Commission and the Police Service was
investigating the matter when he said his
client should not be vindicated after no e-mails
disclosed by Rowley were traced to Persad-
Mohammed, a former speaker of the House
of Representatives and former head of the
Police Service Commission, said he found it
hard to believe that such a statement would
come from a lawyer.
"I don't believe that a lawyer, knowing that
due process is taking place would intervene in
such a way, without allowing the process," he
Earlier this week, Persad-Bissessar on her
Twitter and Facebook accounts posted Russo's
letter which referred to Google Inc response to
a request for information relating to all e-mails
exchanged between her e-mail address and
that of former attorney general Anand
Ramlogan for the period September 1 2012 to
September 30, 2012.
Russo's letter stated that the e-mails for
that period were sent to the Integrity
Commission and that body should now
"vindicate" Persad-Bissessar by making the
"appropriate announcement to confirm these
He said it was either through a lack of
communication or deliberate
miscommunication that not all the facts were
related to Russo before he issued the letter.
"I would want to think that he (Russo) did
not know," Mohammed said.
He said Russo's ignorance of the local
investigations did not invalidate his
statements but put it in a different light.
"What he is doing is interfering in a situation
that is taking place in accordance with due
process and lawyers don't like doing those
things," Mohammed added.
Links Archive May 14th 2015 May 16th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page