“We hear you, we share your pain.”
That was the response to anti-violence protestors and those at vigils from Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi who has redoubled a push for the return of the hangman.
“We guarantee we’ll do our part but the Opposition’s refusal to help pass laws to protect you, the public, has shown they’re not hearing you,” he said.
Al-Rawi said there’s no Anti-Gang law to go after people who may have aided or enabled murder suspects in the Andrea Bharatt case since the Opposition refused to support the Anti-Gang Bill last year.
Al-Rawi spoke after the main suspect in the death of Bharatt died yesterday.
Bharatt’s body was found last Thursday in the Heights of Aripo.
She disappeared January 29 after entering a vehicle in Arima. The vehicle had carried false “H” license plates.
Four suspects were subsequently detained by police, including one who was diabetic and hypertensive, he later died. The other - the key suspect - died yesterday.
Protests calling for justice for Bharatt and stronger laws continued in front of the Red House yesterday.
Yesterday Al-Rawi accused the Opposition of “lying, editing and fabricating” a video which gave a completely false impression of what he said last week in Parliament on vigils.
“Anyone can see from Parliament’s video footage what I said as opposed to the unadulterated lie the UNC put out. I had condemned the UNC for shedding crocodile tears on the murder instead of coming to Parliament and doing their duty to support law which can prevent murders. My statement spoke squarely to the UNC, not mourners.”
“To those expressing yourselves, I deeply empathise with your pain. We hear the cries, see the rivers of tears. We urge you to continue raising your voices to call for everyone to work and support the necessary bills for everyone’s protection.”
“The people must be heard. I’d also like to encourage people to get the information on what is being said. I”m grateful they support proposals on bail and the Evidence Amendment Bill. We can only hope the UNC also listens to the voice of the people who they’ve often said is the voice of God.”
“There was a consistent pattern by UNC to refuse support on laws to prevent criminal activity. I say to Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, the Anti-Gang law is necessary. It can treat with conspiracy, kidnapping, murder but this requires Opposition support.
The Witness Anonymity Order is necessary to protect witnesses. And every case requires evidence. Failure to support that Evidence Amendment Bill last Friday was a dagger to every citizen’s heart - please stop abusing the people!”
On hangings and non-lethal weapons
He said the calls for curtailing bail for rape accused can be examined by the bail law but it requires 26 votes for passage and Government only has 22 votes.
“There seems to be a timidity and reluctance by people to call out the Opposition to support it,” he said.
He’s continuing pushing for the resumption of hanging.
Al-Rawi said the timeframe for Death Row prisoners’ appeal processes in international forums is delaying the situation. But he said Government has made numerous improvements to the justice system to clear backlogs and expedite matters locally.
On calls for non-lethal weapons for women, Al-Rawi said the Prime Minister had that matter under watch and it will be the subject of public information as soon as the National Security Council and Cabinet finish final deliberations.