Trinidad: PM to issue statement amid AG controversy

Two government ministers are among the four lawyers tipped to replace Attorney General Anand Ramlogan should his appointment be revoked tomorrow.

Apart from Ramlogan, Police Complaints Authority (PCA) head David West could also see his appointment revoked.

Cabinet insiders said the Prime Minister was “not aware” that he was a key witness in a civil matter involving Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley at the time of his appointment to the PCA.

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar is expected to make a statement at 4 p.m. tomorrow at her office in St Clair.

While she did not indicate what the topic of her statement would be, there is speculation that following massive external pressure to remove Ramlogan, she would address that issue.

The Sunday Guardian was informed that Persad-Bissessar held heated talks with key government ministers yesterday, looking for a way to address both the internal Cabinet tension and the external pressure from the public to remove Ramlogan from office.

The four shortlisted candidates discussed at closed-door meetings yesterday were Minister of the Environment Ganga Singh, Legal Affairs Minister Prakash Ramadhar, former attorney general Anthony Smart, and lawyer Larry Lalla.

The Sunday Guardian learned that both Singh and Smart—chairman of First Citizens—refused the position.

While Ramadhar’s name is still technically in the ring, it is Lalla who may get the final nod of approval from Persad-Bissessar and her Cabinet.

Though Lalla yesterday said he had not yet been approached, one Cabinet insider yesterday confirmed that his name was heading the pack to replace Ramlogan.

“The truth is she has not yet made a final decision, but Lalla’s name is being circulated,” one Cabinet insider said during a break in the meetings.

Persad-Bissessar is expected to meet with Ramlogan and National Security Minister Gary Griffith before she addresses the situation publicly tomorrow.

Griffith has remained adamant that he will not bow to Cabinet pressure to recall his witness statement supporting West’s claim that Ramlogan sought to “pervert the course of justice” by asking him (West) to recant his witness statement in the Section 34 matter.

It was reported that Griffith was asked by Ramlogan to confirm that West had recalled the witness statement. Griffith, it was reported, did not know what the statement was about.

The Law Association of T&T yesterday issued a media release calling for Ramlogan to step down.

The association said in the light of the police investigations, Ramlogan should step down in order to prevent an “erosion of confidence” in the Office of the Attorney General. (Trinidad Guardian)

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