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Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley yesterday
said it was “frightening” that former Minister of
Justice Herbert Volney was once a High Court judge.
He was commenting after a public statement in
which Volney accepted full responsibility for the Sec-
tion 34 scandal in 2012 after which he was dismissed
from the Government.
Volney had initially defended the hasty proclamation
of Section 34 of the Administration of Justice
(Indictable Proceedings) Act but had later implicated
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan.
Volney apologised to Ramlogan yesterday and
accepted full blame for the proclamation of Section
34, while adding he was still prepared to serve the
country in any sphere other than politics.
In a brief telephone interview yesterday, Rowley
wasted no sympathy on Volney.
“I have said that the best thing that ever happened
to the people of this country in the 2010 (general)
election is that it saw the removal of Volney from
the bench in T&T.
“Now we can fully understand the Brad Boyce
decision,” Rowley said.
In 1996, Jason Johnson died after being struck on
the head during an altercation outside The Edge
nightclub, St James.
Brad Boyce went on trial for manslaughter before
Volney, who directed the jury to return a not guilty
verdict after calling on pathologist Dr Ramnath Chan-
dulal to testify about the qualifications of another
pathologist, Dr Hughvon des Vignes.
In 2006, the Privy Council ruled that Volney was
wrong in law but that too much time had passed to
order a retrial.
Activist Group Fixin’ T&T founder Kirk Waithe
called Volney and Ramlogan’s statements yesterday
a desperate attempt to distract from the investigations
being made into prison litigation. (KC)
Wednesday, May 21, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
After settlement of lawsuit over Section 34...
We need to run a small correction to last
Sunday’s story on Ida Le Blanc (May 18, Page 14).
Ida Le Blanc, general secretary of the National
Union of Domestic Employees (NUDE), is former
co-ordinator for the Caribbean on the International
Domestic Workers Network, which was
transformed last year in Uruguay into an
international federation, the International
Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF).
Gillian Atwell is now the representative for
NUDE on the IDWF executive.
Our apologies for the error.
GETTING IT RIGHT
Former Justice Minister Herbert Volney
says he accepts full responsibility for the
proclamation of Section 34 of the Admin-
istration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings)
Act, which caused a scandal that might
have allowed a number of people, includ-
ing two United National Congress finan-
ciers, to avoid facing the courts on serious
He also hoped that the country would
move past the fiasco.
Volney, who spoke at a press conference
held by Attorney General Anand Ramlogan
at his ministry on St Vincent Street, Port-
of-Spain, apologised to Ramlogan and said
he had failed the Cabinet and could under-
stand why the Prime Minister decided to
His apology followed the settlement of
a lawsuit, resulting in his public apology
to Ramlogan, payment of an undisclosed
sum to a charity of Ramlogan’s choice and
agreeing not to repeat the defamatory
remarks in future.
Ramlogan’s lawsuit stemmed from an
on-line blog posted by Volney commenting
on his dismissal from Cabinet over the Sec-
tion 34 matter.
In 2012, after his dismissal from Cabinet
after public uproar and demonstrations fol-
lowing the proclamation of the law, Volney
sought to lay blame on Ramlogan.
He said yesterday: “Let me make it abun-
dantly clear to you all that I take full respon-
sibility for Section 34.
“I was the line minister at the Ministry
of Justice and having come from a back-
ground in the criminal justice system as a
judge and as a former prosecutor, I was
one who not only helped to calibrate Section
34 and to bring it about but also to have
it amended in the Senate during the course
of debate and also at the time it was pro-
“It was obviously an oversight and with-
out the necessary information from the
Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions
I was unaware of the fallouts. I should have
undertaken more careful consideration of
the proclamation which I did not and I
failed the Cabinet in that regard.
“The Attorney General had nothing, I
repeat nothing, to do with Section 34 other
than as a parliamentary colleague to assist
me on the floor, during the committee stage
Volney described his statements about
Ramlogan after his dismissal from Govern-
ment as “reckless” and said he was hurt
by the entire situation.
Ramlogan, who made the announcement
of the settlement between the two parties,
said he was pleased.
He said he had steadfastly denied any
wrongdoing in the matter and had pointed
out “it had precious little to do with me.
Ramlogan added: “There were attempts
in some quarters to create political mischief
and to maliciously try and pin that Section
34 tag on my office and on me personally.
“Nothing, of course, could be further
from the truth and I have always maintained
that I had no role or involvement in that
matte, because it was not a matter which
fell within my ministerial jurisdiction.
“I hope that with this clarification, the
political missiles that were launched to try
and lay blame at my feet will now cease
as this matter is one which we as a country
have dealt with and is now before the
Ramlogan also said he had other defama-
tion claims pending, noting cases against
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley.
“I intend to vigorously defend the rep-
utation and character of the office of Attor-
ney General and myself personally,” he
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, left, and former justice minister Herbert Volney after a
press conference at the AG’s Office, Cabildo Chambers, St Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain,
yesterday. PHOTO COURTESY MINISTRY OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
to Anand in public
Frightening he was
once a judge—Rowley
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