The case against former attorney general Anand Ramlogan, SC, and former Opposition senator Gerald Ramdeen for alleged legal fee kickback fees has been delayed once again.
Following a status hearing before Chief Magistrate Maria Busby-Earle-Caddle in the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court yesterday, the matter was once again adjourned this time to April 28, as the State once again required more time to disclose witness statements.
Defence Attorney for Ramlogan Senior Counsel Pamela Elder raised concerns about the State’s approach to the case, as she noted requests were made since September.
“I’m a bit disappointed about the passage of time, the length of time it has taken. We made the request in September. It is now January,” said Elder
She also took objection to the manner in which the State went about securing certain elements of the evidence arguing that the prosecution’s attempt to obtain search warrants for evidence may have breached the Summary Offences Act.
She argued that the approach “made a mockery of our system of justice” and the she has ‘given serious thought to the constitutional implications” of the state’s actions.
Ramdeen’s attorney Wayne Sturge also had concerns about the State’s failure to provide QC Vincent Nelson’s witness statement.
The Chief Magistrate ordered the State to provide the witness statement by Friday or face sanctions from the court.
Busby-Earle-Caddle said she was not pleased with the lack of progress in the matter after she learned of the latest series of delays.
Ramlogan and Ramdeen were arrested in May 2019 following an almost three-year investigation into legal fees which were paid to private legal practitioners representing the State and State companies in legal proceedings during Ramlogan’s tenure between 2010 and 2015.
Ramdeen, Ramlogan, and Nelson are accused of conspiring together to receive, conceal and transfer criminal property namely the rewards given to Ramlogan by Nelson for being appointed to represent the State in several cases; of conspiring together to corruptly give Ramlogan a percentage of the funds and of conspiring with to make Ramlogan misbehave in public office by receiving the funds.
Nelson signed a plea agreement deal with the DPP’s Office to plead guilty and testify against the duo. Ramdeen and Ramlogan have continued to practice as attorneys while the case is pending after being placed on $1.5 million bail and $1.2 million respectively.