Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 22nd 2013 Contents RICHARD LORD
Former justice minister and
judge Herbert Volney admitted
in Parliament yesterday he had
made an error in the Brad Boyce
His admission came during his
contribution to yesterday s House
of Representatives debate on a
motion of no confidence in Prime
Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar,
brought by Opposition Leader Dr
Volney in 1998 directed a nine-
member jury to return a not guilty
verdict in the case against Boyce,
who was being tried for the unlaw-
ful killing of Jason Johnson. There
have since been several protests
against the ruling.
Yesterday Volney raised the mat-
ter in Parliament, saying: "I made
an error. I admit I made an error."
Opposition MPs seemed taken
aback by the comment.
Volney added: "There was the
Court of Appeal to correct me.
They too made an error and by
the time it got to the Privy Coun-
cil, the case was ten years old and
the Privy Council said the case
was too old to be retried."
He raised the matter to dismiss
claims from the Opposition that
the proclamation of Section 34 of
the Administration of Justice
(Indictable Proceedings) Act, 2011
was done to benefit former United
National Congress financiers.
"So this Section 34 was not
about any particular persons, it
was about restoring, as a matter
of principle, the balance between
the right of the State to prosecute
and the right of the citizens to the
protection of law."
He said the legislation was
intended to ensure that the
accused was tried within a rea-
He said that development would
assist in getting families back
together and for victims to not
have to relive the trauma several
Volney said Section 34 was also
intended to ensure that "the DPP
would get down to doing his work
in a timely way."
He told legislators: "True, his
(DPP s) wings were being clipped
and there started the beginning
of what led to my downfall. I start-
ed to clip certain people s wings."
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, May 22, 2013
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Sacked justice minister Herbert
Volney is calling on Attorney General
Anand Ramlogan to step down
pending the outcome of investiga-
tions into a trail of e-mails sent to
and from an address of Prime Min-
ister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, other
officials and himself on the Section
Rowley produced copies of the e-
mails during Monday s debate on a
motion of no confidence in the Gov-
Ramlogan told a news conference
yesterday the e-mails were bogus.
But while Volney questioned
whether Rowley was engaging in pub-
lic mischief by presenting the e-mails,
he said Ramlogan should do the right
thing and step down in the interim.
Volney was contributing to the
debate in the House of Representatives
He said: "For there to be any fair
investigation, the opportunity to
investigate openly and transparently
must be sanitised of persons who can
influence the investigation itself and
who can bear pressure upon persons
who would likely come forward to
The St Joseph MP said he was
shocked when he heard the contents
of the e-mails but said one line in the
said e-mail was true, the line which
said the PM had not made up her
mind about his future in the Cabinet
at the end of the meeting she had
Volney was referring to the e-mail
which said Persad-Bissessar had not
as yet made up her mind about his
future in the Cabinet.
he was fired, September 20, "the part-
ing word the Prime Minister had given
me was that I have not yet made up
my mind. "
Volney said former national security
minister Jack Warner had to resign
because the public perception was
that there were unanswered questions
about him. He said former PNM min-
isters Franklin Khan and Eric Williams
had to go because of allegations against
Volney added: "The area of inves-
tigation must be sterile, sanitised of
He was not sure the Commissioner
of Police (CoP) was independent
enough to carry out this investigation
as the CoP was acting in the posi-
Dealing with the Section 34 issue,
Volney said a letter, dated February
22, 2012 from the permanent secretary
(PS) in his ministry to the DPP, indi-
cated the act should be proclaimed
by the middle of the year.
He said the PS requested from the
DPP the number of matters which
Section 34 (3) would apply. Volney
said a response was received from the
DPP s office on May 22, 2012, indi-
cating that some 47 matters would
be affected but no specific case was
identified in the reply.
"No one told the Minister of Justice
there was a case to put brakes, to hold
strain," Volney added.
He said there was no intention to
proclaim the law to benefit any par-
ticular individuals and it was intended
to speed up the delivery of justice as
it was unfair to have matters take
years to be completed instead of
Volney: I made error in Brad Boyce case
wants AG to resign
Integrity Commission chairman
Ken Gordon and Dominic Kaliper-
sad, group head of news at
Caribbean Communications Ltd, a
subsidiary of One Caribbean Media
Ltd, have both said if the allegations
made by Opposition leader Dr Keith
Rowley were true, they were hor-
They spoke to T&T Guardian yes-
terday in separate telephone inter-
views on the issues raised with regard
to press freedom over the e-mails
read by Opposition leader Dr Keith
Rowley, which purportedly revealed
a smear campaign against T&T
Guardian journalist Denyse Renne.
Gordon said the allegations present
a "very disturbing development from
any point of view," and hoped their
accuracy was quickly ascertained.
He said the Integrity Commission
at the moment could do very little
since it was awaiting the appoint-
ment of four other commissioners.
Gordon said he was awaiting word
from the President on the appoint-
The commission, he said, was pre-
pared to look at the matter very seri-
Kalipersad said: "If the allegations
are true it reflects horrifyingly on
whoever is responsible, in a country
where press freedom is guaranteed."
He said further investigation is
required since "it is impossible to
conceive that anyone in authority
will engage in action to endanger the
lives of media professionals."
The media, he said, were the
watchdogs of democracy and he
hoped that was respected.
"We will keep our eyes open," he
Sunday Guardian editor Debra
Wanser said no one from the Gov-
ernment had called her about the
Section 34 stories last September.
In one of the e-mails, the sender,
"email@example.com", told the
recipient, "firstname.lastname@example.org": "Did
you see the article? I thought you
had friends in the Guardian."
In another, "email@example.com"
told the recipients at captaingary-
firstname.lastname@example.org and surujram-
email@example.com: "Call the Sunday
Guardian editor and threaten her
But Wanser said: "No one from
the Government ever called me or
asked me to pull or suppress any
story in connection with Section 34.
"As far as I am concerned, the
Government has its job to do and as
an editor I have mine."
Kalipersad and Gordon:
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