Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 8th 2017 Contents A10 news
guardian.co.tt Wednesday, February 8, 2017
MP at Maloney meeting
Arouca/Maloney MP Camille
Robinson-Regis has come in for
criticism from a constituency
member who complained to her
boss at Monday's "Conversations
with the Prime Minister" forum.
"We don't see her, she doesn't talk to
us," the man, who was dressed in red,
told Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.
The man was one of several audience
members expressing concerns about
the situation in Arouca/Maloney.
The event was hosted by Rowley with
National Security Minister Edmund
Dillon in the "hot seat" alongside him,
speaking and fielding questions about
the crime situation. Robinson-Regis,
in whose constituency the event was
held, was seated in the front row.
The man who complained about her,
claimed lack of service on constitu-
ency issues. Quoting MX Prime and
the Ultimate Rejects' Carnival hit "Full
Extreme," he said despite the situation,
"...We jamming still."
"We're the 'ultimate rejects,'" he
added, as he urged Robinson-Regis
to stop criticising the work of the last
MP and get on with her job.
Some audience members grumbled
loudly when the man began speaking,
but Rowley told them to respect anyone
who was speaking.
"Please let the man express his views,
he might very well be right," he said.
Later in the programme a woman,
also dressed in red, stood up to defend
Robinson-Regis. However, Rowley said
the MP would have heard what was said
about her. He also acknowledged that
the Government couldn't please every-
one all the time.
Complaints about the constituency
were voiced by other audience mem-
bers. Phillip Aberdeen asked Rowley
to find ways to "jump-start" activities
in the area.
"Right now we dead," he said, as he
appealed for crime and poverty reduc-
Another man asked for the oppor-
tunity to establish a pan school in the
area and suggested that Government
offer a stipend to encourage participa-
tion. Rowley, acknowledging the idea of
the school, warned against the habit of
AG: T&T closer to
Attorney General Faris
Al-Rawi says Government
is one step close to resuming
hangings despite facing many
He said measures are being put
in place to ensure cases in crim-
inal courts are dealt with more
quickly and legislation will be
introduced shortly to complete-
ly abolish preliminary inquiries
and introduce a public defender's
Al-Rawi was responding to a
question from a member of the
public at the first of Prime Min-
ister Dr Keith Rowley's National
Conversations at the Maloney
Amphitheatre on Monday night.
Dr Rowley had earlier stated that
the death penalty is still on the
country's law books.
"The decision to carry out the
death penalty is not in the hands
of the Government alone. Certain
strictures have been put in place
in law," the prime minister said.
Al-Rawi then explained that
after the High Court decides
someone should be sentenced to
death, they can go to the Appeal
Court, then to the Privy Council
and petition the Inter-American
Court on Human Rights.
He said before he assumed of-
fice, there was no tracking of the
nitty gritty of people sentenced.
As a result, his office established
a monitoring unit which focuses
on every single person convicted
and waiting to be sentenced in the
The AG said the Privy Council's
Pratt and Morgan ruling states
that if after five years of sen-
tencing a prisoner's appeal is not
completed, that is deemed cruel
and unusual punishment and the
sentence to hang is changed to life
imprisonment. He said of the 33
people sentenced to hang in T&T,
11 have already passed that five
Al-Rawi said the Privy Council
takes six years to rule on an appeal
and the Inter American Court
on Human Rights has delivered
judgement after 11 years.
Commenting on the number
of people hanged when Ramesh
Lawrence Maharaj was attorney
general, Al-Rawi said the time
between the Court of Appeal and
Privy Council and Inter-Amer-
ican Commission was seven
months. Back then, he said, the
DPP's office was not faced with a
76 per cent vacancy ratio.
He said to shrink the gap, mat-
ters in the criminal courts must
move with pace. The Criminal
Proceedings Rules, which will
reduce the time frame for court
matters from one to two years,
will go into effect on April 1.
"That means that you now have
the ability to have sanctions im-
posed by the court if you don't
keep your deadlines," he said
The AG said cases are also de-
layed when the accused insists on
having their lawyer of choice to
handle their case.
"We are bringing on board a
public defender's system, so if
after two or three occasions your
lawyer is not available, you will
get a state lawyer to carry out
your matter for you. And that
is the progress that is going on
by changing the Legal Aid Au-
Al-Rawi said Government
will soon be bringing legislation
to abolish preliminary inquiries.
"We hope you will understand
that not one bullet does it. You
have to take all elements of the
system and do the work that was
not being done." he said.
seeing a stipend as a salary.
Another constituent sought
clarification on whether the forum
was to deal with constituency or
national issues and appealed for
another forum to discuss con-
stituency matters. A young man
called for a pan school, since he
said players were practising "in
A little boy asked PM Rowley:
"How do you become a Prime
Rowley said he "was supposed"
to become a journalist, but his
English Literature marks weren't
strong enough so he changed his
He detailed his career thereon,
saying he now held the onerous
responsibility of being T&T's
"chief manager" and urged the
boy to hurry up and replace him.
Rowley said there will be 14
, with the next
likely to be held in San Fernando
A young Maloney resident caught the attention of Government Ministers as he posed a question to Prime Minister Dr
Keith Rowley on Monday at Maloney. PHOTO: (AYANNA KINSALE)
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