Faris to give evidence against Anand

At­tor­ney Gen­er­al Faris Al-Rawi, Po­lice Com­plaints Au­thor­i­ty (PCA) Di­rec­tor David West and Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Gary Grif­fith are all ex­pect­ed to face in­tense cross-ex­am­i­na­tion when Se­nior Coun­sel Anand Ram­lo­gan’s wit­ness tam­per­ing case even­tu­al­ly comes up for tri­al.

 

Se­nior Coun­sel Pamela El­der, who is lead­ing Ram­lo­gan’s le­gal team, in­di­cat­ed her in­ten­tion to ques­tion the three of­fice hold­ers in the pre­lim­i­nary in­quiry and the tri­al of the case, as it came up for hear­ing be­fore Chief Mag­is­trate Maria Bus­by-Ear­le-Cad­dle in the Port-of-Spain Mag­is­trates’ Court yes­ter­day.

El­der asked the court to re­serve at least a week for her to com­plete her ques­tion­ing of the trio as she said she would most like­ly need two days each to ask the ques­tions need­ed to ad­vance her client’s de­fence to the charges.

Dur­ing the hear­ing, Bus­by-Ear­le-Cad­dle took is­sue with the fact that the Of­fice of the Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions (DPP) at­tempt­ed to file four new wit­ness state­ments in the case when it was sched­uled to sub­mit sub­mis­sions on ev­i­den­tial ob­jec­tions over state­ments that were pre­vi­ous­ly filed. The new state­ments are from Grif­fith, West and re­tired Deputy Com­mis­sion­er of Po­lice (DCP) Harold Phillip, who led the in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­to the al­le­ga­tions.

Stat­ing that she was con­fused by the ap­proach adopt­ed by the DPP’s Of­fice, Bus­by-Ear­le-Cad­dle not­ed that it had pre­vi­ous­ly been in breach of case man­age­ment dead­lines set by her.

El­der used the op­por­tu­ni­ty to point out that her team had com­plied with all of the court’s or­ders and crit­i­cised the DPP’s Of­fice for not be­ing ready to pro­ceed with the case, which be­gan in Jan­u­ary, last year.

De­spite her reser­va­tions with the un­ortho­dox pro­ce­dure, Bus­by-Ear­le-Cad­dle still grant­ed pros­e­cu­tor Mauri­cia Joseph un­til next Mon­day to file the state­ments. She al­so gave Ram­lo­gan’s le­gal team the op­por­tu­ni­ty to file ad­di­tion­al ob­jec­tions against as­pects of the new state­ments.

The case was ad­journed to Sep­tem­ber 30.

Ram­lo­gan is ac­cused of ob­struct­ing jus­tice by us­ing threats and bribery to per­suade West to not give ev­i­dence in his (Ram­lo­gan) defama­tion case against then Op­po­si­tion Leader and cur­rent Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley.

He is al­so ac­cused of mis­be­hav­ing in pub­lic of­fice by im­prop­er­ly en­deav­our­ing for West not to tes­ti­fy on Row­ley’s be­half. The of­fences al­leged­ly oc­curred in Oc­to­ber 2014, while Grif­fith was serv­ing as na­tion­al se­cu­ri­ty min­is­ter.

Short­ly af­ter for­mer act­ing po­lice com­mis­sion­er Stephen Williams ini­ti­at­ed an in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­to the al­le­ga­tions in Feb­ru­ary 2015, then prime min­is­ter Kam­la Per­sad-Bisses­sar ad­vised the Pres­i­dent to re­voke Ram­lo­gan and Grif­fith’s ap­point­ments.

In May, Ram­lo­gan and for­mer UNC Sen­a­tor Ger­ald Ramdeen were im­pli­cat­ed in a sep­a­rate State le­gal fees kick­back scam.

While the po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­to that con­spir­a­cy al­so re­port­ed­ly com­menced al­most three years ago, Ram­lo­gan and Ramdeen were on­ly de­tained and ques­tioned in late April.

Ramdeen, Ram­lo­gan and British Queen’s Coun­sel Vin­cent Nel­son were charged with 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; con­spir­ing to­geth­er to cor­rupt­ly give Ram­lo­gan a per­cent­age of the funds and con­spir­ing with each oth­er to make Ram­lo­gan mis­be­have in pub­lic of­fice by re­ceiv­ing the funds.

Nel­son, who has Ja­maican roots, has signed a plea agree­ment deal with the DPP’s Of­fice to plead guilty and tes­ti­fy against the duo.

Last month, High Court judge Mal­colm Holdip ap­proved the agree­ment.

Holdip will now have to de­cide if he al­so ac­cepts the sug­gest­ed sen­tence, agreed up­on by the DPP’s Of­fice and Nel­son’s at­tor­neys.

In the event that Holdip be­lieves that the sug­gest­ed sen­tence is dis­pro­por­tion­ate, based on the cir­cum­stances of the case, he may sub­sti­tute an­oth­er which he thinks is more ap­pro­pri­ate when the case comes up for hear­ing, on Jan­u­ary 16, next year.

The pre­lim­i­nary in­quiry in­to the charges against Ram­lo­gan and Ramdeen is ex­pect­ed to come up for hear­ing three days be­fore the next hear­ing of Ram­lo­gan’s wit­ness tam­per­ing case.

Even with the charges against him, Ram­lo­gan has con­tin­ued to prac­tice law,as the Dis­ci­pli­nary Com­mit­tee of the Law As­so­ci­a­tion can on­ly in­sti­tute dis­ci­pli­nary pro­ceed­ings against him in the event that he even­tu­al­ly con­vict­ed in ei­ther of the cas­es or in both.

Ram­lo­gan is al­so be­ing rep­re­sent­ed by Alvin Pariags­ingh and Rus­sell Warn­er.

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