Hours after Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley criticised police for not investigating an $8.3 million bribery claim against Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar in connection with the Section 34 f
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Frightening he was once a judge—Rowley
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley yesterday said it was “frightening” that former Minister of Justice Herbert Volney was once a High Court judge. He was commenting after a public statement in which Volney accepted full responsibility for the Section 34 scandal in 2012 after which he was dismissed from the Government. Volney had initially defended the hasty proclamation of Section 34 of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act but had later implicated Attorney General Anand Ramlogan.
Volney apologised to Ramlogan yesterday and accepted full blame for the proclamation of Section 34, while adding he was still prepared to serve the country in any sphere other than politics. In a brief telephone interview yesterday, Rowley wasted no sympathy on Volney. “I have said that the best thing that ever happened to the people of this country in the 2010 (general) election is that it saw the removal of Volney from the bench in T&T.
“Now we can fully understand the Brad Boyce decision,” Rowley said. In 1996, Jason Johnson died after being struck on the head during an altercation outside The Edge nightclub, St James. Brad Boyce went on trial for manslaughter before Volney, who directed the jury to return a not guilty verdict after calling on pathologist Dr Ramnath Chandulal to testify about the qualifications of another pathologist, Dr Hughvon des Vignes.
In 2006, the Privy Council ruled that Volney was wrong in law but that too much time had passed to order a retrial. Activist Group Fixin’ T&T founder Kirk Waithe called Volney and Ramlogan’s statements yesterday a desperate attempt to distract from the investigations being made into prison litigation.