ATTORNEYS representing Attorney General Anand Ramlogan in the judicial review filed against the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) are seeking to have the $143 million Milshirv THA Administration Complex project halted until the matter is determined by the court.
At the first case management conference before Justice James Aboud, in the High Court at the Hall of Justice in Port of Spain, yesterday, lead attorney for the Attorney General Alvin Fitzpatrick SC made an oral application to the court for a stay of implementation of the THA's decision to enter into the build-own-lease-transfer (BOLT) agreement.
The Express learned the application was resisted by attorney Douglas Mendes SC, lead attorney for Milshirv Properties Ltd, and attorney Kerwin Garcia, who along with Stuart Young is being led by Senior Counsel John Jeremie, instructed by Kahaya Nanhu, on behalf of the THA.
Mendes and Garcia told the court that such an application should properly be made in writing and not orally.
Aboud gave directions for the filing and serving of affidavits and adjourned the matter to April 23.
First Citizens bank was granted leave to join as an interested party to the proceedings. The bank is being represented by attorneys Fyard Hosein SC and Rishi Dass, instructed by Vanessa Mohammed.
On January 13, permission was granted to the Attorney General to challenge the THA's power and authority to enter into deals such as the Milshirv contract.
Questions about the $250 million Bacolet Aquatic Centre and Indoor Sport Complex, and the Milshirv THA Administration Complex in Shirvan Park were raised by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar during the budget debate last October.
Persad-Bissessar called for the projects to be halted pending investigations and instructed Finance Minister Larry Howai to conduct an audit.
Saying he welcomed the probe, Milshirv Properties Ltd director Joseph Rahael said the BOLT arrangement was above board and transparent. His view was supported by THA Chief Secretary Orville London.
Also representing the Attorney General are attorneys Lesley Lucky-Samaroo and Martin George, instructed by Kerri Ann Olivierie.
Milshirv is also being represented by attorney Michael Quamina, instructed by Imran Ali.