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Karim: Clause 34 fiasco no blow to Govt credibility
Despite widespread criticism of the Government for passing Clause 34 of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act 2011, Minister of Tertiary Education Fazal Karim denies that the People’s Partnership has lost credibility. In fact, he said, the credibility of the Government had improved. He declined, however, to comment further on the international implications of the recent controversy about sections of a law which could have seen people charged more than ten years ago go free if their cases had not started.
Among them were businessmen Ishwar Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson, who are accused of fraud in the Piarco Airport project. When asked whether the controversial section had damaged the credibility of the Government, Karim said: “Not at all. In fact, I think the credibility of the Government has improved tremendously.
“We have been, from day one, exhorted by the honourable Prime Minister to deliver and we have been delivering. The records speak for themselves and let me compliment my cabinet colleagues and other members of Parliament who spoke up to 11 pm in the Lower House…they did a wonderful job.” Karim said he would prefer the leave comments on the international implications of the issue to Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Dookeran.
Both Galbaransingh and Ferguson are wanted by the US government even though they won a judicial review hearing against Attorney General Anand Ramlogan’s decision to sign extradition warrants against them last October. The ruling was handed down by Justice Ronnie Boodoosingh in the Port-of-Spain Assizes Third Court.
Karim spoke with reporters on Thursday at the Crowne Plaza on Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain, after addressing a workshop held by the Caribbean Association of National Training Agencies. The act was repealed by the Parliament.
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