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...Harnarine: DPP's concern 'too late'

By Joel Julien joel.julien@trinidadexpress.com

IT is "mind-boggling" that Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard would attempt to "protect the sharks" but "leave the sardines" to fend for themselves, former president of the Hindu Credit Union (HCU) Harry Harnarine has said.

Harnarine made the statement yesterday in response to attempts by Gaspard to have the ongoing Commission of Enquiry into the collapse of CL Financial and the HCU held behind closed doors.

On Monday, Gaspard sent a six-page letter to Sir Anthony Colman, lone commissioner in the enquiry, maintaining that the public enquiry had the potential to jeopardise "a potentially strong and credible prosecution" of former CL Financial executives on the basis of adverse pre-trial publicity.

Harnarine said Gaspard's concern is "two years too late" for the HCU.

"In December 2008 we were informed by the ACIB (Anti-Corruption Investigations Bureau) that they are conducting a criminal investigation into the operations of the Hindu Credit Union based on a report that was handed to them by the commissioner of cooperatives, based on the Ernst and Young audit report," Harnarine said.

"This criminal investigation is still on the table as far as we are aware because to date we have not been informed that the investigation has stopped," he said.

Harnarine said when Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced that there would be an enquiry, pre-action protocol letters were sent to Colman, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan and Gaspard.

"While I was before the enquiry everything that Gaspard is now asking Colman to avoid has happened to me," Harnarine said.

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