ATTORNEY GENERAL Anand Ramlogan said yesterday that a motion of censure planned against him by Opposition Leader Keith Rowley will have a boomerang effect and instead raise questions about Rowley's leadership of the People's National Movement (PNM).
Ramlogan told reporters at the start of construction of the University of the West Indies law campus at Debe yesterday, that Rowley should answer why he voted in favour of the proclamation of Section 34 and "led his team blindly down that road and now extricate himself by the most ingenious and hypocritical methods possible".
On Wednesday night at a PNM public meeting at Arouca, Rowley said he intends to bring against Ramlogan, a motion of censure to be moved in Parliament on Private Member's Day at the end October in an attempt to get answers on his involvement in the proclamation of Section 34 of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act 2011.
"The motion of censure is one that will boomerang and have the reverse effect, because what it will do is to call into question Rowley's own leadership. He debated and voted for the Section 34 with his eyes wide open", said Ramlogan.
"What we need to understand is that Dr Rowley's vote in the Parliament gave birth to Section 34 and there is nothing that ancillary insurances would have done to nullify or repeal that right which is created when they said 'Aye'".
He added "The PNM cannot simply be allowed to point blame at the Government and extricate itself".
The controversial Section 34 proclamation would have given persons accused of indictable offences, including businessmen Ishwar Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson, the opportunity to apply to a judge for their cases to be thrown out once the matters were ten years old and were not yet brought to trial.
Ramlogan termed Section 34 "a collective Parliamentary oversight, a legislative inadvertent, and a grave omission".
"We have apologised for that. The Prime Minister has apologised on behalf of the Government. We are yet to hear the PNM say 'sorry'", said Ramlogan.
He said that the Rowley's leadership of the PNM was being called into question when former PNM political leader Patrick Manning who is recovering from a stroke, issued a release stating that he rejected Section 34, and that he would not have voted in favour of its proclamation.
Ramlogan said "Manning made a telling statement when he said he would not have voted and he hoisted Rowley to call for his own leadership into Parliament to explain why did he lead his team blindly down that road and now extricate himself by the most ingenious and hypocritical methods possible", said Ramlogan. "I have no doubt that we may very well see a return of former Prime Minister Manning. We pray for his good health because it is clear the PNM is in search of a leader".
Ramlogan explained that Attorney General's office was split between two fields - civil and criminal, and that criminal legislation is the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice.
He said the issue of criminal justice reform and the abolition of preliminary enquiries is a matter for the Ministry of Justice.
Former minister of justice Herbert Volney was fired by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar for misleading the Cabinet on Section 34 legislation. Attorney Christlyn Moore was sworn in on Wednesday as the new Minister of Justice. (See Page 17)