Prime Minister Patrick Manning is challenging UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar to answer questions about former judge Herbert Volney, including whether he was appointed a judge in The Bahamas and the appointment was revoked. Speaking during yesterday's PNM rally in Port-of-Spain, Manning said the UNC had undermined the independence of the judiciary, with a judge and magistrate resigning to become nominees. Manning said: "These gentlemen jumped from their positions as impartial protectors of the law and dispensers of justice straight into the partisan political fray...It is absolutely improper. "They are trying to deceive people by seeking to make a case that no political discussions or negotiations were taking place while this gentleman presided in the courts of the land.
"This is a most dangerous development, and points to real danger ahead for T&T and our democracy, if this election goes the wrong way. "What was the nature of the discussions between the UNC and these former members of the Bench? "For how long were these discussions taking place? How did this relationship affect the decisions of this former High Court judge. "Did his decisions unfairly favour UNC supporters, friends and financiers? Was justice served and dispensed by this gentleman?" Seeking answers on the judge's integrity, Manning added: "I call upon the leader of that party for an explanation. She can't escape from this. She can't go on as though everything is honky-dory, speaking platitudinous nonsense, praising the former judge for his sacrifice, as though he is some kind of hero to be emulated. "He is not a hero in any way."