LEADER of Government Business Roodal Moonilal said yesterday that Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley believes that the Section 34 issue is a gateway for the People's National Movement (PNM) to return to power but "that and the green donkey you will not see".
He was making his contribution to the debate in the Lower House at Tower D, International Waterfront Centre, Port of Spain on a motion brought by Opposition leader Dr Keith Rowley to have Attorney General Anand Ramlogan removed over the early proclamation of Section 34 of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act.
He said like "Play Whe" , the Opposition was "minding the mark" and will be "playing" the issue of Section 34 for the next three years. He noted that despite Rowley's assertions, there was no conflict of interest in the extradition issue involving UNC financiers Ishwar Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson as he had no private interests to further.
"The Attorney General has acted in this matter with a high degree of diligence, consideration," he said.
He also challenged the "conspiracy theory" over the changing of lawyers in the extradition case, explaining that the team was changed because the matter they were dealing with came to an end and when another matter arose another team was put in.
Moonilal noted that with such a serious motion the Government expected that Rowley would come with new charges and something that had not been in the public domain.
On the Section 34 controversy, he said in an unprecedented move a Prime Minister acted within 24 hours to amend a law.
"Section 34 is a very serious matter and that is why the Government acted very swiftly. And if there is more to be done we will do that. If there are other steps to be taken to ensure...the course of justice this Government stands prepared to do all and anything to ensure that persons who perpetrate criminal action they are held accountable through the rule of law," he said.
He said at all material times matters relating to the criminal justice system was under the portfolio of the Minister of Justice and not the Attorney General to which former Minister of Justice Herbert Volney, who was fired by the Prime Minister over the Section 34 issue, nodded in agreement.
"The responsibility was always with the Minister of Justice," Moonilal stressed.
He predicted that if the motion succeeded they will bring another motion against another minister and the next targets will be the National Security Minister, the Sport Minister and the Minister of the People. As he said "Mr Speaker" Mark rejoined, "don't get me involved", to which the House burst into laughter.
Moonilal reiterated that the intent of Section 34 was known by both Government and Opposition, and the Opposition bench voted for it.
"Today they abdicated the responsibility," he said.
He claimed the timing of the motion was meant to assist the PNM with the upcoming Tobago House of Assembly elections.
He questioned why the PNM did not bring a motion to remove former Attorney General John Jeremie who was criticised by the Law Association for attempting to interfere in cases for political purposes.