The Opposition People’s National Movement trusts that new Integrity Commission chairman, retired judge Zainool Hosein, will be guided by propriety in matters pertaining to any conflict of interest.
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Ramlogan not stepping aside
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan said yesterday that he had no intention of recusing himself from any investigation into allegations of collusion relating to litigation involving the abuse of prisoners. Ramlogan, speaking to reporters outside the National Academy for the Performing Arts, Port-of-Spain after the funeral service for former president Arthur NR Robinson, said the issue does not involve him but two independent departments in his ministry. He said the allegations raised by former Solicitor General Eleanor Donaldson-Honeywell in a letter to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar does not refer to him.
The claim of possible collusion was made initially by former Solicitor General Eleanor Donaldson-Honeywell, who wrote to the Prime Minister in August last year asking that she investigate the matter. She subsequently resigned in January and the Prime Minister referred the matter to Ramlogan for his investigation, which he said was completed. On Wednesday, the Prime Minister directed Ramlogan to revisit the matter even though he claimed earlier that he had investigated it and found no wrongdoing.
Ramlogan said he intended to meet with the Inspector of Prisons, the Commissioner of Prisons, the Justice Minister, the acting Solicitor General and the Chief State Solicitor to review the matter either today or by Monday. However, at a public meeting on Wednesday night, Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley says he was not accepting a decision by the Prime Minister to not appoint an independent investigation into allegations. Rowley was speaking during as public meeting El Dorado East Secondary School, Tunapuna on Wednesday, as campaigning continued for this month’s internal elections.
He insisted nothing other than an independent investigation was required after claims were made that cases were being settled out of court to the benefit of a named attorney. He said Persad-Bissessar was “testing the faith and patience of the people of T&T” by not allowing for the independent probe. The Diego Martin West MP told the meeting that he intended to do all within his power, including a public march in protest, and even called on the Prime Minister to call early elections if she was not prepared to call the probe.