Monday, January 22, 2018

Ramesh: PM knew of its reactivation


'I WANT ANSWERS': Former attorney general Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj at yesterday's media conference at his San Fernando office. —Photo: INNIS FRANCIS

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FORMER attorney general Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj believes Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar knew of the planned reactivation of the New Flying Squad Investigations Unit.

He said Persad-Bisessar's actions and reactions, when the information on the Flying Squad became public knowledge, were proof of this.

He said the Prime Minister had the responsibility to request information about the existence of the Flying Squad from National Security Minister Jack Warner or the Ministry's permanent secretary.

"There is no need for a Prime Minister to wait for 19 days to make a request of a minister for a report on any matter within the ministry or that minister. I think it is another Section 34," he said.

Maharaj said the Flying Squad controversy, and Government's failure to fight crime, meant it had lost its mandate, and the United National Congress was a dead entity.

Speaking at a news conference at his San Fernando office yesterday Maharaj said he was considering giving up his UNC membership card.

"The public has lost confidence in this Government and it no longer has the morality to govern Trinidad and Tobago. It has, in my view, lost its mandate," he said.

He said Persad-Bissessar, while in Opposition, condemned the establishment of the Special Anti-Crime Unit of Trinidad and Tobago (SUATT), established by the People's National Movement.

"SUATT, however, was under the control and supervision of the Commissioner of Police, whilst the New Flying Squad was and is under the control of the Minister of National Security and by extension the Prime Minister and Cabinet of Trinidad and Tobago," he said.

Maharaj said he was approached by a group of concerned citizens to assist in the formation of an organisation called "Good Governance Watch".

"I am told it is not a political party but a non-governmental organisation committed to safeguard democracy, promote openness, transparency and accountability of Government and to safeguard the human and fundamental rights of Trinidad and Tobago," he said.

Maharaj said he has no interest in electoral politics, but would accept an invitation to speak on any platform on the state of this country.

"I have no doubt that this is the worst Government this country has ever had. What we have here are a set of political jelly fish. The coalition had a plan to win the election, not to govern Trinidad and Tobago," he said.