Attorney and former opposition senator Gerald Ramdeen has thanked Attorney General Reginald Armour for suing him, expressing confidence that the State will end up paying him at the end of the trial. Ramdeen said the money that the State eventually pays him will be used for charity.
Ramdeen’s comments come after the State filed a civil action against him and former attorney general Anand Ramlogan, SC, for alleged bribery, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of trust. The State’s claim was electronically filed with the Hall of Justice on Thursday by attorney Tenille Ramkissoon of the Attorney General’s Office. Attorney General Reginald Armour is seeking to recover more than £200,000 in alleged kickbacks from Vincent Nelson, KC, to the duo. In this case, the State is also seeking to recover all or part of the salaries Ramlogan earned as attorney general during the People’s Partnership administration.
Ramdeen told Guardian Media yesterday that the money he believed would be paid to him by the State will be given back to the country to whom it belongs.
“I would like to thank him for suing me in this matter. Like Mr Ken Gordon a number of years ago in the Panday defamation claim, I pledge to donate the costs that the State will be paying in this matter to charity, and I will be putting in place arrangements to host a large food drive that will be financed by the monies that the State will be paying at the end of this litigation, so I am looking forward to an early trial.
“The old people say, who don’t hear does feel. I say, who don’t hear will pay. While the State is prepared to expend more monies in seeking to persecute me I believe that any monies I receive out of this litigation should be given back to the people of this country to whom it belongs. I will continue to pray for those who seek to persecute me,” he said.
Attempts to contact Ramlogan for comment were unsuccessful.
The civil case comes after Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard discontinued a criminal corruption case against Ramlogan and Ramdeen in October 2022. The case was discontinued because state witness Vincent Nelson refused to testify until his civil case about an indemnity agreement with the Government was resolved.
Ramlogan, Ramdeen and Nelson were accused of conspiring together to receive, conceal and transfer criminal property—namely “rewards” given to Ramlogan by Nelson for the latter’s appointment to handle state briefs, among other allegations. Nelson entered into a plea agreement with the DPP’s Office in exchange for his testimony against Ramlogan and Ramdeen. On June 4, 2019, Nelson was ordered to pay $2.25 million in fines, but he wants the State to pay the fine. Nelson filed a $96 million claim for compensation for an alleged breach of the indemnity agreement. The State filed a counterclaim.
Attorney General Reginald Armour at that time had vowed to consider all avenues–including civil action to recover any possible proceeds of crime allegedly committed by Ramlogan and Ramdeen. On Thursday, the State’s 60-point claim indicated that the Attorney General was empowered by section 76(2) of the Constitution and section 19(1) of the State Liability and Proceedings Act Chap 8:02 to commence proceedings on T&T’s behalf.
The documents noted that from November 5, 2011, until Ramlogan resigned from office on February 2, 2015, he earned a monthly sum of $64,160 (comprising a basic salary of $41,030, housing allowance of $12,360, professional allowance of $4,110, subsistence allowance of $2,000 and transport allowance of $6,660) by reason being attorney general. Among its claims, the State said Ramlogan was liable to forfeit all, or part of the sums earned by him from T&T from November 5, 2011, and to the extent already paid, the State is entitled to be repaid the same, “whether by operation of equity, or alternatively”.
A similar forfeiture demand was made regarding Ramdeen’s earnings from T&T from November 5, 2011, due to alleged breaches of fiduciary and/or equivalent duties. It was noted that during Ramlogan’s tenure as attorney general, Ramdeen was retained and acted on behalf of the State, Statutory Corporations and state-owned companies on Ramlogan’s instructions and/or directions. The claim stated that over the period from or around December 21, 2011, to September 25, 2014, Nelson made approximately 12 bank transfers from his accounts at Natwest Bank UK and Sagicor Jamaica bank accounts to Ramdeen’s Scotiabank T&T bank account. This totalled £200,367 (excluding bank charges) comprising sums ranging from a minimum of £4,000 to £50,000.