Attorney General Anand Ramlogan is considering filing a motion to have Dr Keith Rowley taken before Parliament's Privileges Committee for "deliberately misleading the House and impugning the Attorney General." The AG condemned as "baseless, false and politically mischievous," Dr Rowley's claim at Wednesday's sitting of the House of Representatives that he had visited this country's mission in New York and made comments about the ethnic composition of the staff.
The Opposition Leader made the claim in a private motion in which he called on the House to condemn former chairman of the Police Service Commission Nizam Mohammed, who said he would work with Parliament to address the ethnic imbalance in the hierarchy of the Police Service. Rowley said he was told by staff at the T&T mission in New York that Ramlogan visited and expressed concern about the ethnic composition of the staff there. He told the Lower House: "I think was last November, and while I was there I took the opportunity to visit our mission in New York and I was very distressed by the number of staff members who came to me to tell me that the Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago paid a visit to the mission, as I was paying, and on entry to the mission the only thing he was interested in from his opening comment in the mission was the ethnic composition of the mission.
"And he made comments openly to the staff about their ethnic composition, and raised questions about the need to fix it," he added. Works and Transport Minister Jack Warner later produced documentary evidence to show that since assuming office almost one year ago, the AG had never travelled to New York. Warner called on Rowley to apologise for his comments, as did several other government MPs, including Housing and the Environment Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal, who repeatedly called on Rowley to apologise for misleading the House. Rowley did not apologise. While seated, he said: "The staff lied then?" In his statement yesterday condemning the Opposition Leader's claims, Ramlogan said he has not visited New York in any capacity, private or official, in last two years.
He also pointed out that he had enjoyed a long and distinguished career at the Bar where he had represented numerous victims of discrimination and unfair treatment from all walks of life, ethnicities and religious denominations. The AG listed among his most successful cases, representing the late George Daniel in a matter involving discrimination against the disabled community and Damien Belafonte in a case of discrimination against Rastafarians.
Ramlogan said he had also represented dozens of police officers from the ranks of Assistant Commissioner of Police to constable, as well as several senior public servants in cases of discrimination.
Among his most notable clients were Marlene Coudray, who is now the Mayor of San Fernando and Devant Maharaj, the chairman of the Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC). "The Attorney General's reputation for equality of treatment for all citizens is well-established and Dr Rowley's misguided attempt to slander/taint his good name is deserving of the strongest condemnation," Ramlogan said.