'The AG must go'
Opposition leader Dr Keith Rowley yesterday charged a "crisis of confidence" in Attorney General Anand Ramlogan and demanded that he be removed from office. Speaking at a press conference at his Port of Spain office yesterday, Rowley said Ramlogan "misrepresented" the issue of section 34 of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act to the Parliament during his contribution on the debate on Wednesday.
Rowley said in the weeks since the proclamation of section 34, a number of people had already gone to the court to access the then existing legislation which has now been repealed.
"When those persons go before the court, if the court does not overturn the application, then the law under which they went there which was repealed says that they shall be discharged," Rowley said.
He said if the Attorney General's office does not "argue convincingly" then only the Privy Council as the final Court of Appeal can prevent all of those applicants from walking away.
"The action of the Cabinet was questionable, irregular and improper and on that basis, if the Privy Council sees it that way and overturns it on that basis, then we might have a chance," he said.
He said if the Privy Council did not take that stance and instead abided by the Parliament level arguments, then those people who applied within the two week window when the section was enforced, may be discharged.
Rowley said Ramlogan spoke of "boys growing into men" waiting for their cases to be called but that was not true. He said contrary to what Ramlogan said, when a magistrate sets bail and the individual could not raise that sum, when the bail hearing came around again and again, it would be sequentially lowered until it was reasonable and affordable.
"The Court, seeing that the bail cannot be paid because the person cannot raise the bail, responds by lowering the bail. There is nobody in our criminal system who is growing up from boy to man because they cannot make the original bail," Rowley said.
"Why then would the Attorney General put that on the record?" he asked. —RS