AG slams newspaper report
ATTORNEY GENERAL Anand Ramlogan yesterday condemned an article in the Sunday Guardian newspaper, headlined "James Lewis QC upset as Preliminary Enquiries scrapped".
According to Ramlogan in a statement, "The article creates the false impression that my relationship with internationally-renowned and respected extradition expert Mr James Lewis QC was negatively affected by the decision not to appeal the decision of the High Court quashing the decision of the AG to extradite Ishwar Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson. This is false, mischievous, malicious, and utterly absurd."
Galbaransingh and Ferguson, who appealed against an extradition order for them to answer charges in the United States, are before the court for their alleged involvement in the Piarco International Airport construction scandal.
According to Ramlogan: "The article is based on quotes from certain unnamed sources that are allegedly close to Mr James Lewis QC. It states that Mr Lewis expressed concern that his advice was misconstrued. It further alleges that he was surprised that the State did not appeal the decision that quashed the extradition warrant signed by the Attorney General."
Ramlogan said he had personally spoken with Lewis, who has categorically denied this and is satisfied the article is fabricated and false.
The Attorney General added that he has a very good relationship with Lewis, who continues to advise the State in extradition matters.
He said the decision not to appeal was taken in good faith, based on discussions with and advice from Lewis, and this rationale was fully explained in a detailed statement which was made public.
Ramlogan continued: "In so far as the article deals with the consequences of The Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act 2011 on pending cases, I wish to note that this law embodies and reflects the collective will of both Houses of Parliament.
"It was passed unanimously in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, where it was supported by both the Opposition and Independent benches. Parliament does not legislate based on personalities, but in the interest of a more efficient and modern administration of justice and the greater public good."