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Speaker cautions Gopee-Scoon
Point Fortin MP Paula Gopee-Scoon was warned on Friday to stick to the motion being debated in the Parliament. Speaker Wade Mark said she was making categorical statements in relation to the Government and businessmen Steve Ferguson and Ishwar Galbaransingh, which he said could be used in the courts.
She was making her contribution to the no-confidence private motion against Attorney General Anand Ramlogan at Tower D, International Waterfront Centre, Port-of-Spain. Mark cautioned her to be sensitive. He told her she was coming very close to the sub judice rule.
He said, “I want you to be very careful about what you are saying. You keep referring to the Government, the Government, the Government, the Government…this motion is not about any government.
“We have a motion before us that talks about no confidence in the Attorney General but your entire argument for this evening thus far is about the Government. They are matters before the courts at this time…that we have to be very sensitive about. So I will advise you just stick to the motion.”
Gopee-Scoon, however, tried to give an explanation about her statements but was shot down again by Mark. He said she was treading very dangerously on violating Standing Order 36 (2). Mark then went on to explain the separation of powers. He said, “We do not engage in determining guilt or innocence or attributing blame to anybody because that can be used in a court of law.”
Gopee-Scoon ended her contribution saying there will be some fallout on account of the performance of the Government in the treatment of the request of the US regarding the extradition of the businessmen. She said, “I want to join with all the others on this side in calling on this honourable House to express its strongest disapproval of the very flagrant breach of parliamentary trust by the Attorney General’s involvement in the premature proclamation of Section 34.
“I think the Attorney General has been very derelict in the discharge of his duty and functions that he has really accepted no responsibility to date for his actions in the discharge of his constitutional duty.”
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