ATTORNEYS representing several individuals who have filed applications in the High Court to have their matters dismissed under Section 34 of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act 2011, are seeking to have one judge hear the matters collectively.
Businessmen Ishwar Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson are among those who have filed applications.
The issue was raised before Justice Devan Rampersad in the Fourth Criminal Court at the Hall of Justice in Port of Spain yesterday.
Rampersad was scheduled to hear the matter of Dane Lewis and Balram Seepersad who are charged with conspiracy to defraud and forgery with intent to defraud.
Lewis, a former RBTT bank employee, was the first person to file an application under the controversial Section 34 which has now been repealed by Parliament. He and Seepersad were charged on August 4, 2000.
The offences are alleged to have been committed during the period June 1, 2000 and July 31, 2000 and they were committed to stand trial on May 3, 2005.
An indictment was filed by the Director of Public Prosecutions but to date the trial has not yet commenced.
Within days of Section 34 being proclaimed by President George Maxwell Richards on August 30, several individuals against whom charges were laid, dating back to ten years or more, applied to the High Court seeking an order that their indictments be dismissed and verdicts of not guilty be recorded in their favour.
Among them were Galbaransingh, Ferguson and several others who are accused of bid rigging and conspiracy to defraud the Government of Trinidad and Tobago during the Piarco Development Project between March 1, 1997 to December 21, 2000.
Lewis's attorney, Ravi Rajcoomar, yesterday informed Rampersad that applications by Lewis and several others were pending before the courts. Rajcoomar said there was consensus among various attorneys who had filed similar actions that it may be more convenient to have all the Section 34 matters put before one judge.
Ferguson's attorney, Edward Fitzgerald QC, agreed with Rajcoomar and asked that the matter be put to a date after November 2 by which time Magistrate Ejenny Espinet, who is presiding in the Piarco Development Project preliminary enquiries, would have received written submissions from the defence attorneys and the DPP in those matters.
Senior Counsel Fyard Hosein, who is part of the legal team in the Piarco Airport Enquiry, submitted that precedent had been set for matters with a single identical issue to be determined to be heard together.
"This saves judicial time and prevents inconsistency," Hosein said.
Rampersad said the arrangements would have to be put in place by the Registrar of the Supreme Court. He acceded to a request to have the matter involving Lewis and Seepersad placed on a Cause List in November.