DEVANT MAHARAJ: Plot to erase Smith Report

Former government minister Devant Maharaj is questioning whether attorney Elaine Green will continue to receive state briefs, given the outcome of the Darryl Smith Report.

The report has been discarded. It was commissioned by the prime minister, to determine the circumstances surrounding the dismissal of Smith's personal assistant, after she filed a wrongful dismissal lawsuit and sexual harassment claims against him.

Last Friday, Attorney General Faris Al Rawi told the media, the report was discarded based on advice he received from Senior Counsel Douglas Mendes, as there appeared to be a breach in the course of natural justice by disallowing the former minister to respond to the report.

However, Devant Maharaj accuses the government of trying to shield Smith, especially given Green's experience as an attorney.  He believes there was a deliberate bungling of the entire process, to ensure Mr Smith got off on all claims made against him.

Devant Maharaj says too many eminent persons sat on the investigative committee, to have made such a fundamental error in law.

“If she made such a fundamental error in law, and did not allow Mr Smith his legal right, why continue keep her and give her state briefs?” he asks. “These people [the other committee members] continue to enjoy the trust of the State, in the award of state briefs and contracts, and so on.”

Mr Maharaj had made a freedom of information request for the report into the Darryl Smith matter, and intends to fight the state in court to ensure the report is not discarded, as suggested by the prime minister and the attorney general.

The former government minister is worried that something terrible may happen to the report on which, he points out, thousands of tax payers’ dollars were spent.

Devant Maharaj is threatening an injunction by 4p.m. today, if the AG fails to give the assurance that the committee's report will not be destroyed.

“I was deeply concerned that this report could have been destroyed by the Government, and thereby prevented from ever seeing the light of day. Only last week,” he notes, “the attorney general indicated there are two copies of the report—one in his possession, and the other in the permanent secretary’s possession. I was very concerned that this evidence could have been spirited away.”

Darryl Smith's attorney, Annabelle Sooklal, also sent a letter to the attorney general last Friday, accusing the prime minister of giving the media "misleading" information on the case.



Story by NEWS DESK

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