Finance Minister Colm Imbert’s $63 billion budget which “seeks to re-establish fiscal discipline” came as no surprise to political analysts Dr Bishnu Ragoonath and Dr Maukesh Basdeo.
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Gaspard to focus on report‘s content
Director of Public Prosecution, Roger Gaspard, SC, said yesterday he would prefer to focus on the content of the Police Complaints Authority report on the New Flying Squad Unit rather than the leakage of the file. He said so during the opening of a Plea Bargaining Conference at the Radisson Hotel, Port-of-Spain, in response to questions over the continuing spat between PCA director Gillian Lucky and Attorney General Anand Ramlogan. Ramlogan has insisted that the PCA leaked the report to Opposition Senator Faria Al-Rawi and the media but Lucky has denied that and Al-Rawi himself has said he did not get the leak from the authority. The AG has also gone on record as saying he was sure the leak did not come from the DPP’s office.
Asked to comment on the matter yesterday, Gaspard said he just wanted to “get on with the business of examining the content of the report” before saying he had nothing else to say on the issue. During his contribution to the Finance Bill in the Senate on April 8, Al-Rawi indicated he was in possession of both the Police Service (TTPS) and PCA reports on the new Flying Squad and referenced the TTPS report. He later claimed the reports were left in his mailbox by an anonymous donor. Al-Rawi’s comments were highly criticised by Government officials with Ramlogan saying the leak of the confidential report to the Opposition was tantamount to treason.
On Tuesday, the AG called on the police and the Integrity Commission to investigate the leak. Acting Commissioner of Police said one day later there was nothing for his men to investigate.
In delivering his address to participants at yesterday’s conference, which was held under the auspices of the US Embassy and the office of the Attorney General, Gaspard said there was need to quicken the pace of justice not just legislatively but infrastructurally. Referencing plans announced by the State to bring legislation to fast track criminal matters, he said there was a need to augment and improve human resources and provide more courts, prosecutors and State and legal aid attorneys.
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