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Censure motion a hate attack on AG—Moonilal
Leader of Government Business in the House of Representatives, Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal, said yesterday’s motion of censure against Attorney General Anand Ramlogan was “sinister and nefarious, self-serving and reeks of hypocrisy.”
Moonilal was the first Government MP to contribute to the motion, which was presented minutes earlier by Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley. Moonilal said the motion was expected to be declared “null and void and of no effect. It has no merit, it is based on fraud, anger and hate.”
The motion called for the dismissal of Ramlogan for his alleged role in the early proclamation of Section 34 of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings ) Act 2011 on August 31. The provision gave certain people an amnesty from prosecution if their matters were not started after ten years of the commission of the offence.
Moonilal said it was expected to be defeated when the vote was taken, not because of the Government majority but because it lacked merit. He said Rowley failed to raise one new issue in his presentation yesterday. He objected to Rowley’s claim that Ramlogan was responsible for the management of the criminal justice system.
“At all material times, matters pertaining to the criminal justice system were under the ambit of a Ministry of Justice,” Moonilal insisted. He said under Ramlogan’s portfolio there was no provision for criminal legislation. He said Rowley was hoping to use the Section 34 matter as a gateway to return the PNM to power. He said the PNM was “minding” the Section 34 matter as Play Whe mark 34 (Blind Man).
“My friend from Diego Martin West minding Blind Man in the hope that if you play this mark every day it must play,” Moonilal said, bringing the House to laughter. Moonilal also dismissed a claim from Rowley that Ramlogan had given the House an assurance that the legislation would not be proclaimed without certain requirements being put in place.
He said Ramlogan never gave any such an assurance. Moonilal said the Government acted swiftly to address the concerns raised by the early proclamation of Section 34. Parliament was summoned in an emergency session to repeal the section.
“And if there is more to be done, we will do that. If there are other steps to be taken to ensure the cause of justice, this Government stands prepared to do all and anything (in that regard),” Moonilal insisted. Opposition MP Colm Imbert, who spoke next, said despite Moonilal’s claims, T&T had fallen 13 points on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index .
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