As far as acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams is concerned, the Section 34 fiasco does not warrant police attention.
The early proclamation of the controversial piece of legislation, which would have allowed people whose cases had languished in the court for over ten years to walk free, has been a sore point for the People's Partnership Government.
Former justice minister Herbert Volney was fired from his Ministerial portfolio after Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar determined he had misled the Cabinet to substantiate an early proclamation to Clause 34 of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act in August.
Section 34 was later repealed.
With more questions than answers forthcoming from the Government and amid accusations of who was responsible for the thorny law—be it Volney alone, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, the Prime Minister, the collective responsibility of Cabinet or the members of Parliament—the question was put to Williams yesterday as to what would trigger a police investigation into the matter to determine if there was the possibility of a deliberate conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
A conspiracy to pervert the course of justice is an indictable crime.
However, Williams told the Sunday Express by phone yesterday there was no alarm bell about Section 34. "There is nothing that has been presented in the public domain that speaks to a crime. And you can quote me on that," said the acting Commissioner, who is also a lawyer.
"If there was a crime, the police would be involved," he said.
Acting President Timothy Hamel-Smith had described the law as fundamentally "flawed" and it was wrong for legislation like that to be passed without addressing white collar crimes, such as corruption and money laundering.
Not satisfied with only the firing of Volney, the Opposition and over 17 interest groups have called for the head of the Attorney General for allegedly being pivotal in the early proclamation. For his part, Ramlogan has maintained that criminal matters were removed under his purview and placed under the Justice Ministry.
Both Ramlogan and Volney have both stated they were out of the country at various points during the Cabinet agreement and early proclamation of the legislation. Ramlogan was out of the country from July 20 to August 4, while Volney said he was out of the country for most of August, with Legal Affairs Minister Prakash Ramadhar acting in his stead.
The early proclamation of Section 34 has allowed United National Congress (UNC) financiers Ishwar Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson, former UNC ministers Carlos John, Brian Keui Tung and Sadiq Baksh, among others, to lodge applications in the court to have their cases thrown out.