Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Different treatment for Deonarine

Robinson-Regis knocks AG on Al-Rawi comments:


Wants probe: Anand Ramlogan

Mark Fraser

People’s National Movement (PNM) Senator Camille Robinson-Regis wants Attorney General Anand Ramlogan to state why he showed no concern when the personal police file of his political opponent, Anna Deonarine, was leaked and presented on a United National Congress (UNC) political platform during last year’s local government elections.

Last October, Deona­rine’s Range Rover had been implicated in an international high-end vehicle theft. She denied any wrongdoing in the matter and was cleared by Director of Public Prosecutions.

Robinson-Regis stated the UNC’s candidate, Ian Alleyne, came into possession of police files regarding the investigation of the theft. She recalled that when the Attorney General was asked about this breach, he dismissed it, saying “the person who dropped the fake e-mails in Dr Rowley’s box, dropped that police file for Ian Alleyne”.

Robinson-Regis was responding to the Attorney General’s statement that the leaking of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) report and the report of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service to PNM Senator Faris Al-Rawi should be investigated, with a view to determining if there was treason committed or a subversion of the State.

Robinson-Regis said the PNM stood solidly behind Al-Rawi and commended him for disclosing the contents of the reports, saying it was done in the public interest.

Noting the legal definition of treason was the crime of betraying one’s country, helping one’s enemies during war, attempting to kill the head of state or government, or engaging in insurrection, Robinson-Regis said the Attorney General’s charge that Al-Rawi was engaging in treason was ludicrous.

Robinson-Regis said politicians were “in the habit of getting information in their mailboxes”.

She cited Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who as an Opposition member, received information on the then PNM minister and chairman, Frankie Khan, in her mailbox. Robinson-Regis said Minister Ganga Singh, as an Opposition MP, who made allegations against Keith Rowley with respect to Landate, also was in the habit of receiving documents from his mailbox.

Robinson-Regis said the bigger issue in this matter was that Gavin Heerah continued to operate as head of the National Security Operations Centre in the face of the findings of the PCA and TTPS reports.

Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley also stated the Prime Minister, in her capacity as head of the National Security Council, had to determine whether Heerah was suitable for this job, given the contents of the reports.

He said given what both reports said about Heerah, the matter now once again sits squarely in the Prime Minister’s court “to rectify the situation”.

“In this situation, the Prime Minister is to be acknowledged as head of the National Security Council. No head of any National Security Council would be or should be comfortable with an officer who has been so damned by an independent commission or enquiry into conduct and pointing fingers at him like that.

“Based on the comments in the reports, we expect that the Prime Minister will now take the necessary corrective action,” the Opposition Leader said.

The police report said the conduct of Heerah should be examined by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The PCA report stated Heerah “(without justification or excuse) consciously, wilfully and deliberately facilitated Mervyn Cordner and the unit (NFSIU) despite having knowledge of the direct instruction to cease and in spite of his awareness that the requisite approval had not been granted... The question of a mistake, even a serious one, does not arise as Heerah admitted to meeting with Cordner of his own volition”.