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Matters to be addressed concerning prison
litigation were brought to my attention by
concerned persons, including the Prison Officers
For confidential reasons I felt it necessary to
bring these issues directly to the attention of the
Hon Prime Minister and did so by way of the
August 30, 2013 letter which was sent under
confidential cover but is now in the public domain.
The main thrust of the letter was simply to get
action on an investigation into matters adversely
affecting the State's defence in prison litigation.
The Attorney General having received the letter,
sent to him by the Prime Minister, called me to
discuss it and during discussions I was assured
that steps would be taken to have all of the
concerns raised addressed.
It was agreed that there should be a general
investigation into prison litigation which would
take into account the concerns of prison officers
as well as investigate whether practices in prison
litigation were undermining the fair prospects of
the State in defending such matters.
At no time did I then, or at any time since
indicate that I no longer saw the need for such
I was required to let the Prime Minister know
that the matter I had raised with her was being
addressed and her further intervention was not
needed. I did draft the letter, headed "confidential
and Without Prejudice", a copy of which I saw
published in the Sunday Express but I am no
longer in a position to have the records checked to
determine whether it was sent.
In any event the Prime Minister, having taken
action as she did, I felt I had no further role to play.
The matter was now in the hands of the Attorney
General. As an attorney-at-law in private practice
and having demitted office as solicitor general, I
do not propose to intervene further in the matter."
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
AG wants clarity
for 28th APRIL, 2014
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan has
called on former solicitor general Eleanor
Donaldson-Honeywell to clarify whether
she sent an October 28, 2013 letter to Prime
Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar on the
prison litigation issue as she had advised
him that it was sent and had forwarded a
signed copy to his office.
The AG made the call in a statement last
night, after Donaldson-Honeywell yesterday
issued a press release on the letters she
wrote to the PM in August 2013 seeking an
investigation into her claims of collusion
involving attorneys in prison litigation cases
and her apparent subsequent amendment
In her statement yesterday, which seemed
to be spurred by continued raging public
debate over the matter, Donaldson-Hon-
eywell said at no time did she withdraw her
call for a probe into the matter.
She confirmed she did draft a letter, head-
ed "Confidential and Without Prejudice",
on the issue but she said she was "no longer
in a position to have the records checked
to determine whether it was sent."
Questions about the issue have arisen
after an August 30, 2013 letter by Donald-
son-Honeywell to the Prime Minister
emerged in the media recently.
In that first letter, Donaldson-Honeywell
requested a probe into attorneys involved
in litigation against the State.
She claimed there were concerns about
a breach of professional ethics for indirect
or direct financial gain, adding she was con-
cerned the attorneys were engaged in an
unethical business venture.
An unsigned October 2013 letter pur-
portedly retracted this request, but Ramlogan
subsequently produced a signed copy of a
letter written by Donaldson-Honeywell to
the PM, where Donaldson-Honeywell
allegedly withdrew her call for an investi-
gation into the matter.
There was receipt acknowledged by the
Ministry of the Attorney General dated
Breaking her silence on the issue, Don-
aldson-Honeywell, now in private practice,
yesterday issued a statement on a letterhead
bearing the name "Keystone Law".
Honeywell said concerns over prison lit-
igation matters were brought to her attention
by the Prison Officers Association and other
She said because she considered the issue
to be confidential, she directed her concerns
directly to Persad-Bissessar, adding the main
aim of this was to get a probe conducted.
She said the AG, after the letter was
passed to him by the PM, called her into
a meeting and the matter was discussed.
She said during those discussions, the AG
assured her steps would be taken to address
all of the concerns she raised.
She added: "It was agreed that there
should be a general investigation into prison
litigation which would take into account
the concerns of prison officers as well as
investigate whether practices in prison lit-
igation were undermining the fair prospects
of the State in defending such matters.
"At no time did I then, or at any time
since indicate that I no longer saw the need
for such investigation."
Donaldson-Honeywell confirmed that
she did draft a second letter to the PM to
let her (Persad-Bissessar) know that the
matters she (Donaldson-Honeywell) raised
were being investigated.
However, she said she was now unable
to say whether this letter was ever dis-
Donaldson-Honeywell pointed out that
she believed the PM was no longer a part
of the matter, since the PM had placed its
investigation into his hands. She said now
that she was in private practice, she also
wished not to intervene any further in the
Efforts to contact Donaldson-Honeywell
yesterday for clarification on various aspects
of the issue --- including her "confidential
reasons" for writing the PM over the AG s
head and if the prison issue had anything
to do with her resignation --- were unsuc-
cessful as calls to her cellphone and land
line went unanswered.
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan chats with then solicitor general Eleanor Donaldson-
Honeywell during a press conference last year.
Donaldson-Honeywell was appointed solicitor
general in 2010 under the People's National
Movement (PNM) administration, after the post was
vacant for four years. She resigned from the AG's
office November 12, 2013, effective January 2014.
When Donaldson-Honeywell had resigned she told
the T&T Guardian she resigned for "personal
reasons" and that she did not make any report of
alleged corruption in her resignation letter.
She had said then that she and the AG were on
cordial terms and she had found him to be a person
she did not have a problem with. She said she
wanted to reserve comment on her resignation.
Donaldson-Honeywell's letter to the Prime Minister
on the prison litigation issues was dated August 30,
2013, three months before her resignation.
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