Two former government ministers are among four accused who intend to provide evidence for their own defence as the “Piarco II” preliminary inquiry wraps up.
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Rowley: Charge all with false papers
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley wants to know if the police intend to arrest anyone else who submitted false qualifications to secure jobs in the public sector. He said there was several other people who had obtained positions under the current Government with false papers and they too must be brought before the courts. Rowley raised the question during his Team Rowley campaign meeting at Plaza Siparia on Monday night, in preparation for Sunday’s internal election.
Hours before Rowley’s comment, former Airports Authority general manager Dayanand Birju had appeared before a Port-of-Spain magistrate charged with uttering a forged document claiming he had a BSc degree in Computer Sciences from the University of Massachusetts, knowing it to be false with intent to defraud. Addressing his supporters on the matter, Rowley said: “I want to find out if only one person going to face the law on the false certificate matter.”
He told supporters while Birju had appeared in court, the first name that might come to mind when they think about false certificates might be Reshmi Ramnarine. However, he said the information he had was that Ramnarine did not submit false documents. “Reshmi Ramnarine never submitted that to the Government. It was the Government that submitted the qualifications for Reshmi Ramnarine,” he said.
Ramnarine resigned as director of the Security Intelligence Agency (SIA) on January 21, 2011, a week after her appointment following questions about her qualifications. The appointment of the then 31-year-old Ramnarine to the senior security post had been questioned after she was elevated over more qualified individuals. In justifying her selection, the Government had indicated she possessed a BSc in Information Technology from UWI, but the institution subsequently revealed she was not a graduate.
This was one of the several scenarios which caused public controversy and which Rowley highlighted on Monday as he hit back at his detractors who have been saying he is unfit to be Prime Minister.