Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 23rd 2017 Contents A4 news
guardian.co.tt Thursday, March 23, 2017
Former Urban Development Com-
pany (Udecott) executive chairman
Calder Hart has been given the green
light to pursue a lawsuit against the
three commissioners in Las Alturas
Commission of Enquiry.
High Court Judge Eleanor Donaldson-Hon-
eywell yesterday granted leave for the judicial
review claim against Commission chairman
retired Appellate Judge Mustapha Ibrahim and
commissioners Dr Myron Wing-Sam Chin and
Hart's lawyers, Dr Lloyd Barnett, QC and An-
thony Bullock, told the court they did not have the
commissioners' addresses to serve the lawsuits
on them and wished to notify them via adver-
tisements in two daily newspapers.
At yesterday's hearing in the Port-of-Spain
High Court, attorneys representing the Office of
the Attorney General were granted permission to
enter the case as an interested party. Hart, who
resides in the United States, was not present for
Hart is challenging adverse findings made
against him by the commissioners in their final
report which was laid in Parliament, last year.
While the report recommended that no criminal
action be taken against anyone, Hart was singled
out under "civil liabilities."
The report stated: "Mr Calder Hart was clearly
the mind and the management of Udecott with
respect to this project. He failed to do that which
a prudent buyer would have done in the purchase
of the land."
The Commission recommended that Hart be
held liable because he was required to inspect the
land before it was purchased.
Hart's lawyers are contending that the report
is "procedurally flawed" and "defective in sub-
The Commission was appointed by President
Anthony Carmona in December 2014 to determine
whether there was any criminal or civil liability
associated with the housing development at Lady
Young Gardens, Morvant. Months earlier, then
prime minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, had called
for the enquiry after several structural issues with
the project surfaced leading to two buildings being
The Office of the Attorney General is being
represented by Fyard Hosein, SC, and Rishi Dass.
The matter was adjourned to May 24.
Roman Catholic Archbishop Joseph Harris
has submitted his resignation to Pope Francis
but says he is still willing to serve.
The Roman Catholic Archbishop turned 75 last
Sunday and in keeping with canon law submitted
his resignation to the Pope's representative in Port-
of-Spain, the Papal Nuncio. It is up to Pope Francis
to decide if he will accept the resignation.
In a weekly Facebook Live broadcast by The Arch-
diocese of Port-of-Spain, Harris said: "I have sent
my resignation in. I delivered it to the Nuncio a few
days before my 75th birthday. I'm told it's already
been sent to Rome, so I await what the Pope will say."
Harris was ordained as the tenth Archbishop of
the Diocese of Port-of-Spain on September 14, 2011,
succeeding Edward Gilbert.
In a wide ranging interview, Archbishop Harris
expressed to the hope that his term of office had im-
pacted in some positive way on the lives of citizens.
One of the highlights of his tenure was his plea
for the authorities to render mercy and free remand
prisoners who have been in jail longer than the max-
imum prison term if found guilty of their crimes.
That suggestion was welcomed by Attorney
General Faris Al-Rawi who said it costs the
state almost $50 million a month to maintain
the 2,235 prisoners in remand yard. However
the suggestion never got the traction Harris
was hoping for.
Asked specifically about Government's
plans to reinstitute the death penalty, the
Archbishop said: "If the death penalty is re-
instated, at the end of it, having hanged two
people or three people, what does that do to the
"I remember the same Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj,
when Dole Cadee and his gang were hanged, there
were a lot of people writing and saying how awful
it felt and how barbaric it felt to hang nine people
in two days."
Harris said while hanging is the law of the land,
in wanting to reinstate it, "we put ourselves in the
company of a bunch of nations I don't want to be
He added: "I don't know if the Government and
people who are calling for capital punishment are
in fact reflecting on that."
He said he did not believe the call for reinstate-
ment of the death penalty is a reflection of the wider
"I think it reflects the will of a group of people
who are rather loud mouthed," he said.
Harris said the focus should not be on hanging
but on solving the root causes of crime.
"Hanging will not stop drugs from coming into
the country. Hanging will not stop people fighting
for turf and so the murders will continue. And you
ask yourself, who brings in the drugs and who brings
in the guns? It's not the poor boys from Laventille
and Sea Lots and where else in Trinidad. They don't
have the money to do that," he said.
The Archbishop said education and home and fam-
ily life have roles to play in addressing the issue of
crime but there is also the need to be our brothers
keeper and develop a more compassionate spirit.
In his Lenten pastoral letter, Archbishop Harris
spoke of the need to "grow more humane."
"In this land of plenty many people around us go
to bed hungry, children do not go to school because
they lack money for transportation, uniforms, books.
Women sell themselves in stores and on the streets
to provide for their dependents, people live on the
streets for lack of welcome in their families or decent
housing," he said.
The Archbishop Lent he said provides an oppor-
tunity to "prick our conscience to come to the help
of these people."
"The disease which has corrupted our land can
only be healed by our willingness to confess our sinful
disobedience, make reparation for the damage we
have caused and ask the Lord to heal us and heal
our land," he said.
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