Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 1st 2013 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
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Wednesday, May 1, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 30th APRIL, 2013
The two witnesses who were subpoe-
naed to give evidence yesterday at the
Clico/HCU Commission of Enquiry failed
Lennox Archer, former Clico Investment
Bank (CIB) president, and Mala Gandhi,
former CIB vice-president, were absent
from yesterday s hearing.
Their failure to appear came even as the
enquiry has subpoenaed former CL Finan-
cial chairman Lawrence Duprey and Andre
Monteil, the group s former financial direc-
tor, to appear to give evidence today. The
enquiry has still had no word from the men
on whether they will in fact comply today.
Yesterday s scenario came after police
showed up at Gandhi s home on Sunday
looking for her, which led the commission s
counsel, Peter Carter, QC, to say yesterday
that she was in "deliberate breach" of the
Carter was speaking on the second day
of the 12th session of the commission at
the Winsure Building, Port-of-Spain.
He said Gandhi was served a subpoena
in February 2012 and the commission had
been in constant contact with her since
then. The latest attempt to contact her was
on April 28, when police went searching
for her at her home.
"According to information we have, Mala
Gandhi was in the habit of attending church
every Sunday, therefore we thought it was
probable that she would be in the vicinity of
her home some time on that day. Police officers
attended her home and waited there all day.
She did not appear and her neighbours were
unable to inform of where she was, and they
said only that she was away," he said.
Colman replied: "I think she has to be
treated in the same way as Mr Archer, and
I direct the secretary to issue a prosecution
under the Commission of Enquiry Act."
Carter told the commission Archer was
personally served with a summons on April
7 and was given "conduct money" to attend
the hearing but still did not attend. Conduct
money is money paid in legal systems in some
countries to a person under the compulsion
of a summons to witness (subpoena) to pay
for their expenses to attend court. Carter said:
"He was given conduct money. He took the
conduct money and did not conduct him-
Colman replied: "He was actually paid.
I shall give instructions under these cir-
cumstances for the prosecution of Mr
Archer to go forward under Section 12 of
the Commission of Enquiry Act."
Carter referred to an interview Gandhi
and Archer did with the Trinidad Express
in January 2012 and said what they divulged
in the interview contradicted the evidence
the commission had.
"It demonstrates that at that stage Archer
and Gandhi were willing to speak about
their time at CIB, but only on their own
terms. What they said, according to the
journalist, is contradicted by the evidence
we have heard," he said.
Carter also read out topics that were
presented to Archer when he was served
the summons on which he was supposed
to give a witness statement.
Carter said: "His qualifications, experi-
ence, length of time employed at bank,
date he left office, whether any inducement
was offered to him to take up employment
at CIB. The relation he shared with Mala
Gandhi and was there a functioning board?
Did he at any time receive a bonus in the
sum of TT$400,000 by way of cheque
6902? If so when was it?"
He also read out topics the commission
had suggested to Gandhi in 2012 to prepare
a witness statement on, which up to now
she still has not done.
Carter said he hoped witnesses obeyed
the law when they were served with sum-
From Page A1
One man said he was told to either "take it or leave
it."President of the T&T Carnival Bandleaders Asso-
ciation (TTCBA), Gerard Weekes, was also among the
masqueraders who turned up to collect his prize money.
Speaking to the media afterwards, he described the
situation yesterday as an example of the disrespect
shown to the people responsible for creating mas.
"There is a sense of betrayal," Weekes said.
"If there is no money, then tell the mas practitioners,
explain if there is a problem. But they are operating
in a closed-door manner and that is completely dis-
respectful to all of us."
He said he and the other masqueraders were prepared
to go the route of protesting and being more aggressive
in their approach.
NCC chairman Allison Demas, in a statement, said
the full prize money had been disbursed to the NCBA
recently. She said, however, that monies for appearance
and trasportation fees were still to be disbursed.
She said this would be done once the NCC received
the next subvention from the ministry.
She said the NCC also supported an NCBA decision
to reduce expenditure by $500,000 by scrapping a
Minister of Arts Douglas was out of the country
when contacted yesterday, but said he had no problem
meeting with the bandleaders and designers when he
President of the NCBA David Lopez yesterday denied
any decrease in prize money.
"The prize money for kings and queens and junior
kings and queens was increased by $1,324,500 and
the other prize monies were maintained from last year.
There is no way anything was decreased," he said.
He said the only money NCBA had not released yet
was a transportation fee and appearance fee, but added
that those eligible to receive these were made aware
they would be paid at a later date.
He said the prizes could not have been less than before.
"The NCBA cannot arbitrarily cut prizes," he said.
He also questioned the idea of an elaborate prize-
giving ceremony, saying the matter had been a con-
"The NCBA does not have the money to hold a
prize-giving ceremony. These same people had ques-
tioned the amount of money spent on the ceremony
in previous years and it has become more and more
expensive so we decided not to have one."
Lopez also addressed the claim that band assistance
had not been paid to bands, adding that a change had
been made to allow for more accountability and trans-
parency. He said the NCBA was allocated just over
300,000 for band assistance.
'Take it or leave it'
Pensioners whose monthly cheques were
stolen in Cunupia Monday should be get-
ting their payments today, Minister of the
People and Social Development Dr Glenn
Ramadharsingh said yesterday.
Speaking at a news conference at his
Caroni Central offices in Freeport, Ramad-
harsingh said 125 cheques, totalling
$250,000, were stolen by bandits who
robbed a TTPost employee at gunpoint in
He said the money was heading to pen-
sioners and individuals getting disability
grants and public assistance.
Yesterday, however, the ministry worked
with the Central Bank officials stop payment
of the cheques and notified all banks and
the Supermarket Association of the situation
so the stolen cheques would not be accepted
anywhere in the country.
He said while those affected should be
getting their cheques by this afternoon, in
the interim the Food Card Unit of his min-
istry was working with them to ensure they
were taken care of.
Colman acts on
Two Clico witnesses fail to appear...
Pensioners whose cheques were stolen get relief today
Commissioner of the Commission of Inquiry
into Clico and the Hindu Credit Union (HCU),
Sir Anthony Colman, listens attentively to
deliberations during yesterday's sitting at
Winsure Building, Port-of-Spain.
PHOTO: ANDY HYPOLITE
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