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Friday, February 28, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 27th FEBRUARY, 2014
Former Law Association president Mar-
tin Daly has slammed yesterday s re-
appointment of Justice Sebastian Ventour
as deputy chairman of the Integrity Com-
mission, weeks after he had resigned from
the position to deliver three outstanding
judgments he had before the High Court.
In a brief comment to the T&T Guardian
yesterday, Daly said: "Carnival time is the
appropriate time to make such appoint-
Asked to elaborate, Daly said: "The com-
ment speaks for itself. It is in keeping with
the silliness of the season."
Ventour was re-appointed to the position
by president Anthony Carmona at the Office
of the President, St Ann s, yesterday but
when reporters tried to get a comment after
he was sworn in he dismissed the ques-
Saying there were many other issues
affecting the country, Ventour said: "Ladies
and gentlemen, I think you should redirect
the cameras. There are so many ills affecting
T&T at this point in time. You have got to
He said he was "going back to the Integrity
Commission to continue a job I started and
I hope your prayers are with me."
In response to another question, he
replied: "No comment. No further comment
at all, thank you."
Ventour then left the Office of the Pres-
ident with his daughter, Kelly-Ann, who
witnessed his swearing-in.
The President s aide-de-camp, Lt Com-
mander Don Polo, said Ventour s re-appoint-
ment was made after the President consulted
with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar
and Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley.
He added that the appointment as a
puisne judge for one day was done on the
advice of the Judicial and Legal Services
Chief Justice Ivor Archie is the chairman
of the JLSC.
Polo said the practice of reappointing a
judge "who has retired and is active in other
endeavours in order to do the delivery of
outstanding judgments is not without prece-
dent in T&T," and was "generally done in
alignment with the public interest so that
closure can be brought to outstanding mat-
ters in the court."
After leaving President s House, Ventour
went to the commission s offices, where he
met with Gordon and registrar Martin Farrell.
Farrell said Ventour was welcomed back
and "we are prepared to move on with the
work of the commission."
Ventour s resignation had in effect stalled
the board of the Integrity Commission from
meeting since he was the only one with a
legal background, a strict requirement of
Commission chairman Kenneth Gordon
said earlier this month that Ventour s res-
ignation had not had any negative effect on
the image of the commission and was opti-
mistic about his reappointment.
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan and
another former president of the Law Asso-
ciation, Dana Seetahal, SC, had previously
expressed concern over Ventour s decision
to resign from the commission so that he
could be reappointed a judge for one day
to give outstanding judgments.
Seetahal said yesterday she had no further
comment on the matter, saying only that
her initial comments were made in a specific
context. Ramlogan also said yesterday he
had no comment.
Several other lawyers said they were upset
with the decision. However, they noted it
had made a mockery of both the judicial
system and the Integrity Commission in
the first instance and was now exacerbating
that situation. They all refused to comment
One questioned when Ventour would
have written the three judgments.
If he had done so while sitting as a mem-
ber of the commission it would have con-
travened the Integrity in Public Life Act,
the senior lawyer said. The proper thing to
do, the lawyer said, was for the Chief Justice
to grant Ventour an extension in office, upon
his retirement, to complete all outstanding
In the past, several judges who have
resigned, including Justices Lennox Deyals-
ingh, David Myers and Andre Mon Desir,
have all been reappointed to complete out-
standing judgments. A lawsuit challenging
a judgment of Myers after his resignation
is before the High Court.
Daly on Ventour's Integrity Commission return:
Silliness of season
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A would-be bandit was killed yesterday
morning after being stabbed in the chest
with the weapon he had pulled on his
victim moments earlier.
Police said around 5 am, a 23-year-old
Maloney man was walking along Ariapita
Avenue, Port-of-Spain, with his 19-year-
old companion when he was accosted by
the man near French Street.
The unidentified man then pulled out
a knife and demanded a gold chain his
intended victim was wearing.
Police said the two struggled before the
bandit snatched the chain and ran.
However, his victim chased after him
and caught him on French Street, near
Wrightson Road. The two then fought
again and the bandit was stabbed in the
chest after being overpowered.
Emergency Health Services were con-
tacted and took the thief to the Port-of-
Spain General Hospital where he died.
Homicide officers are continuing inves-
Hold-up victim chases, kills attacker
What AG, Seetahal said
Attorney General Anand General said it was
"not desirable" for a judge who has retired
subsequently to deliver a judgment and every
effort must be made to ensure that judgments
are delivered during the tenure of judges.
Describing Ventour s resignation as a "com-
plete shock and disappointment," Ramlogan
said it had left a void at a time when the com-
mission was stabilising in the aftermath of so
many fumbles and false starts.
Seetahal had said: "The sequence of events
suggests he was made a temporary judge only
for the purpose of the delivering the judgments,
which suggests that prior to his reappointment,
he must have been deliberating and contem-
plating these judgments, which is the work of
"That means he would have been doing that
when he was a member of the commission
which law does not remit a judge to sit as one
of its members."
GETTING IT RIGHT
• Retired from the Judiciary in 2012.
• The former judge was first appointed a
member of the commission on July 2, 2013.
• He resigned on February 5.
• Ventour was appointed a puisne judge on
February 6 for one day to give judgments on
three outstanding matters, including one on
the Mora Ven Holdings Ltd/Krishna Persad
and Associates Ltd matter.
President Anthony Carmona, right, swears in Justice Sebastian Ventour as deputy
commissioner of the Integrity Commission at President House, St Ann's, yesterday.
PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
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