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Offline Bakes

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Re: Piarco airport cases to be dropped
« Reply #150 on: September 09, 2012, 12:14:09 AM »
The headline is a bit sensationalist... nothing states that the cases are to be dropped.  The Act makes it possible, maybe even likely, but not definitive.  If anyone has matter pending more than ten years and it hasn't been brought to trial then the accused can petition the court to dismiss it.  If the delay has been caused by the accused though, that stays the clock.  Pretty routine actually... in the US the statutory period is ONE year.  Ten years is slackness.

Offline 1-868

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Ish daughter get big contract - FAIR AND SQUARE
« Reply #151 on: September 11, 2012, 07:13:29 AM »
Fair and square

http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/Fair_and_square-169260366.html


Housing Minister, HDC boss defend $5m contract to Ish's daughter
By Anna Ramdass anna.ramdass@trinidadexpress.com


Neisha Galbaransingh, director of Riverside Enterprises Ltd, was awarded a $5 million contract for the rehabilitation of a car park at Maloney Gardens through a fair and square competitive bidding process, Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal and Jearlean John, Housing Development Corporation (HDC) managing director, both said yesterday.

Galbaransingh, daughter of former United National Congress (UNC) financier Ishwar Galbaransingh, is listed as one of the directors of Riverside Enterprises Ltd according to documents obtained under the Companies Act.

On Sunday, Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley raised concerns over the contract as he read to the audience of the People's National Movement (PNM) San Fernando West constituency conference, the letter of award from HDC to Riverside Enterprises Ltd.

"It wasn't something that went out for tender. Somebody sent a proposal to the HDC and it accepted the proposal for a car park at Maloney Gardens for $5 million," Rowley had said.

However, both John and Moonilal told the Express yesterday in separate telephone interviews that there was in fact a tender process and the lowest bidder was issued a letter of award.

John said proposals ranging from $5 million to $14 million were received and according to HDC rules—the contract must be awarded to the lowest tenderer—which was Riverside Enterprises Ltd.

"We follow the tender rules scrupulously, there is nothing wrong with the competitive process...if someone sent us an unsolicited proposal we would send it back because we do not respond like that, we follow the rules," said John.

John said the HDC's tenders committee had oversight of the process.

Moonilal said that he does not get involved in the day-to-day operations of HDC but he does know that there was a competitive tender process.

"These matters are within the purview of the HDC, it was done by competitive tender, the contractor was the lowest bidder and it was properly authorised by the board," said Moonilal.

Asked about the company's director Neisha Galbaransingh and concerns over her family ties, Moonilal responded "I am not sure of that, I don't know the name of the company...but even if it is, the person is not debarred from work...it is morally and legally wrong that someone be denied work in Trinidad and Tobago because of any relation,".

The Express obtained a copy of the letter of award from the HDC to Riverside Enterprises Ltd.

The letter, dated August 24, stated HDC has accepted the company's proposal for the rehabilitation of a car park at Maloney Gardens.

"You are now required to enter into formal contract with the HDC for the execution of these works. You are to produce evidence that you have properly effected Contractors' All Risk and Workmen's Compensation Insurance Policies together with any other insurances in accordance with your contractual obligations," stated the letter.

The letter stated that all works must be executed in accordance with the proposal as well as the specifications and general terms and conditions outlined in the contract documents.

"You are expected to perform the services with due diligence and excellence," stated the letter, adding that on provision of the requested instrument, no later than ten working days from the date of the award letter, a meeting would be held with HDC's divisional manager estate management who will give further instructions in respect of the award.

According to documents under the Companies Act, Riverside Enterprises Ltd with the address 15 Andrew Lane, Mausica Lands, was incorporated in March this year with two listed directors- Barbara Alexander whose occupation was listed as front office manager and Fidjy Chang who was named as executive assistant.

Another document, from the Registrar General's department, dated July 20, 2012 stated that Neisha Galbaransingh was appointed director of Riverside Enterprises Ltd. Her occupation was listed as university student.

That document states further that Alexander ceased to hold the position of director thereby leaving Chang and Neisha Galbaransingh as the two directors of the company. Calls to Neisha Galbaransingh's phone yesterday were not answered.
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Offline zuluwarrior

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Re: Ish daughter get big contract - FAIR AND SQUARE
« Reply #152 on: September 11, 2012, 06:09:11 PM »
Notting this   government say or do  you can believe or trust them with the new politics .

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Offline Flex

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Re: Ish daughter get big contract - FAIR AND SQUARE
« Reply #153 on: September 12, 2012, 05:51:40 AM »
WHAT A MESS
Back to Parliament: Govt to repeal law 'favouring' Ish and Steve
By Ria Taitt Political Editor


Twelve days after the proclamation of a contentious provision of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act which allows UNC financiers Ishwar Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson to escape prosecution, Government is in retreat.

The proclamation on August 30, which came like a thief in the night, was done while the country was celebrating the golden anniversary of Independence.

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar held an emergency Cabinet meeting to discuss the issue yesterday. And even before the meeting was over, Government had convened a special meeting of Parliament for today to repeal the measure.

This sharp about-turn comes in the wake of a terse statement from the US reminding the Government that Galbaransingh and Ferguson were still under indictment in the United States and that their extradition was still being sought.

It also follows a statement from Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard that he was "gravely concerned" and was considering his options.

Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley also issued an equally forceful statement, threatening demonstration outside the Prime Minister's office as a prelude to a petition to the President "seeking protection from the vulgar and corrupt actions of the Government".

Parliament would have to meet quickly—with the House of Representatives debating and passing the repeal of the provision by tonight, followed by the Senate doing the same thing tomorrow. The President would also have to proclaim the measure, following Cabinet's decision to issue such advice to him.

All this would have to be done expeditiously in the hope of battling the clock as both Galbaransingh and Ferguson have already petitioned the High Court seeking to have the corruption charges against them discharged.

They are doing so under Section 34 of the new Administration of Justice Act which allows accused persons to apply a judge to throw out a case if more than ten years have passed since the commission of the alleged offence and if the trial has not started.

The court is on vacation until next week but sources said both men could get a judge to hear the matter in an emergency session.

But is Parliament too late? There is growing consensus among the country's Senior Counsels that the Parliament may not be able to undo the damage or to fix the "mess" that has been created. A prominent Senior Counsel told the Express yesterday the two men could challenge what the Parliament is attempting to do and to argue in a court that they had vested rights which cannot be taken away retrospectively. Even within the Opposition this view was being discussed.

Five clauses of the bill were proclaimed on August 30. Four of the clauses are of little consequence. The only significant clause is Section 34.

Galbaransingh and Ferguson are accused of bid-rigging and conspiracy to defraud the Government of Trinidad and Tobago during the period March 1, 1997 to December 21, 2000, under charges which arose out of the Piarco Airport Terminal construction.

They, along with several others, were initially charged when the PNM was in office.

Because of the public awareness that Galbaransingh and Ferguson were significant financiers of the ruling UNC party, there was inevitably high interest in their case.

The Opposition has suggested repeatedly that justice was not being blind in the matters involving the two financiers. And recently the Attorney General sued Rowley over statements made after the State chose not to appeal the decision of Justice Boodoosingh who ruled that the best place to try them was Trinidad and Tobago, preventing their extradition to the US.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Flex

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Galbaransingh & Ferguson to walk free on all criminal charges
« Reply #154 on: September 13, 2012, 05:21:04 AM »
Breaking News - COP - A Contempt of Parliament
By Richard Charan (Express).


Hours before the emergency convening of Parliament this afternoon, Government coalition partner, the Congress of the People (COP), has issued a statement expressing alarm over the proclamation of Section 34 of the Administration of Justice Act (Indictable Proceedings) Act 2011, which allows UNC financiers Ishwar Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson to walk free on all criminal charges.

The COP today issued a statement, calling for the termination of all who acted with intentional dishonesty in relation to the "contempt of Parliament" to "not be allowed any function on behalf of the government of Trinidad and Tobago".

The press statement, signed by party chairman Joseph Toney is titled "The Saga of s34 – Blunders or Manipulation of Parliament"

and gives a timeline of how President Max Richards came to proclaim the provision on the day of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the nation's Independence (August 30), which led to the subsequent application in the High Court by Galbaransingh and Ferguson to have their matters discharged and to be declared not guilty. The men are charged with multiple offences of fraud and money laundering in relation to the Piarco Airport Terminal project.

Yesterday, several other defendants charged in connection with the project, also filed similar petition in the Hall of Justice, Port of Spain.

The defendants are relying on the proclaimed section of the Act which compels a judge to discharge cases if more than ten years have elapsed since the commission of the alleged offence and if the trial has not started.

The COP stated that the revelations " have raised the grave questions about the bona fides of the government or parts of it in this entire affair. This situation is cause for the most serious concern and alarm".

The COP stated that having examined the developments in the passage of the Act, it is "forced to conclude that in the course of its passage, section 34 has been so changed by amendment first proposed in the Senate the whole intent of the original section 34 in the Bill was annihilated.

"The effect of that amendment was that it made a non-sense of the entire legal position on indictable offences (the most serious offences) because a time limitation for prosecution for such offences was now introduced. No longer could someone be prosecuted for such an offence no matter how long after its commission sufficient evidence was obtained.

"The very cleverly-worded amended sub-section 2 and added sub-section 3 also eliminated the original intention of section 34 which was to guarantee fairness to an accused person against unwarranted delay by the state. These in themselves made nonsense of the section" the COP stated.

"The amendment, in the manner in which it was introduced and in the form of its drafting closely resembling the original language in the Bill as it left the Lower House and entered Parliament took advantage of the trust of all legislators by those who introduced it, which allowed its passage".

The COP also stated that the proclamation of section 34 also meant a breach of an undertaking to Parliament on behalf of government, that no part of the Act would be made effective until the required rules and infrastructure for the operation of the new criminal process, were all in place.

The COP stated that the breach demonstrated "the most grievous contempt of the Parliament itself" and "compromises the entire purpose of the Act which was to ensure swift justice as part of measures to improve the justice system and contribute to the fight against the horrendous crime situation affecting our society".

The House of Representatives convenes at 1.30p.m for the purpose of repealing the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act.

Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley is insisting that Cabinet members explain why they agreed to have Section 34 of the Act proclaimed.

N.B - Readers can return to this story throughout the day for updates. richard.charan@trinidadexpress.com

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Flex

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Re: Ish Galbaransingh in jail.
« Reply #155 on: September 15, 2012, 09:05:45 AM »
ISH, STEVE CRY ABUSE
...Lawyers urge magistrate to stay corruption charges
By Keino Swamber (Express).


ATTORNEYS representing businessmen Ishwar Galbaransingh, Steve Ferguson and six other men, charged with fraud-related offences arising out of the Piarco Development Project, have signalled their intention to argue that the proceedings should be stayed on the ground that it would be an abuse of process to continue.

When the preliminary enquiry resumed in the Port of Spain First Magistrate's Court yesterday, Ferguson's attorney, Edward Fitzgerald QC, who spoke on behalf of the defence team, asked Magistrate Ejenny Espinet to adjourn the matter to allow them time to file legal submissions for her consideration.

Fitzgerald said most of the accused have petitioned the High Court to have their matters dismissed under Section 34 of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act 2011.

"Since Parliament intervened to repeal the Section, it purported to prohibit the High Court from ruling on the applications," Fitzgerald said.

"The constitutionality will have to be looked at. We would seek to put before you (arguments) that it would be unjust to these defendants for these proceedings to continue."

He said the now repealed Section 34 of the Act sought to introduce a statute of limitations in criminal matters which have been pending for ten years or more. He said it would appear that Parliament intended to not proceed with "historic matters".

"Many people have made applications to the High Court (under Section 34). It is not just about Piarco 1 and 2. It is not just about Ishwar Galbaransingh (chairman of Northern Construction Ltd) and (former) Maritime Financial Group executive Steve Ferguson."

Fitzgerald asked Espinet to adjourn the matter to November 2 by which time submissions from the defence and prosecution would have been filed.

Senior Counsel Gilbert Peterson, who is leading the prosecution on behalf of Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard, was also present in court, said the State, having discussed the matter with the defence team, agreed to accede to the request for an adjournment.

"This mainly because there is a pending application before the court," Peterson said.

"Those applications remain in the High Court but, before you, we wish for an opportunity to make submissions."

Also before Espinet are Northern Construction Ltd (NCL) financial director Amrith Maharaj, former government ministers Brian Kuei Tung and Sadiq Baksh, former chairmen of the Airports Authority Tyrone Gopee and Ameer Edoo, and Peter Cateau, former client representative in the Ministry of Works at the airport project.

They are accused of conspiring between January 1, 1995 and December 31, 2001, to obtain contracts and payments totalling $1.6 billion during the construction of the new airport.

Representing Galbaransingh and Maharaj are Andrew Mitchell QC, who was absent yesterday, and Rajiv Persad.

Also on record are attorneys Sophia Chote SC, Keith Scotland, and Asha Watkins, among others

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Bourbon

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Re: Ish Galbaransingh in jail.
« Reply #156 on: September 22, 2012, 10:56:40 PM »
http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/ISH-STEVE--WANT-76m-170864041.html

ISH, STEVE WANT $76m

UNC financiers claim legal costs for judicial review
By Asha Javeed asha.javeed@trinidadexpress.com

Story Created: Sep 22, 2012 at 10:20 PM ECT

Story Updated: Sep 22, 2012 at 10:21 PM ECT
UNC financiers Ishwar Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson are seeking more than $76 million from the State.
The two businessmen, who have been before the country’s courts on fraud charges relating to the Piarco Airport construction project, filed their statement of costs to the Attorney General’s office on January 31.
Justice Ronnie Boodoosingh quashed Attorney General Anand Ramlogan’s decision to extradite the businessmen to the United States on November 7 but ordered the State to pay the cost “to be assessed if not agreed” to the claimants for their judicial review hearing.
As such, Ferguson is seeking over $69 million, the majority of which is attributed to work done by Bruce Procope, QC, while Galbaransingh is seeking approximately $7 million according to their Bill of Costs.
Two weeks ago, the businessmen sought to take advantage of Section 34 of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act, which was proclaimed on August 30 and allowed white collar crimes to be dismissed if cases had languished in the courts for over ten years. They had a window of opportunity to file papers in the courts to take advantage of the proclamation before the Parliament was convened to repeal the Act. Their applications are still before the courts.
The Sunday Express applied to the Registrar two weeks ago for a copy of the Statement of Costs submitted by the businessmen to the State.
The businessmen’s bills come from costly Queen’s Counsel including Procope, Andrew Mitchell, Edward Fitzgerald and Michael Beloff, multiple Senior Counsel, among them Fyard Hosein and attorneys who include Rishi Dass and Nyree Alfonso.
They are also claiming a total of $328,500 for prison visits from their attorneys and $622,547 for “photocopying and binding, travelling costs for Counsel and hotel accommodation”.
Yesterday, Solicitor General Eleanor Donaldson-Honeywell SC, told the Sunday Express that no costs have yet been paid to the businessmen.
She said following receipt of the claim, Attorney General Ramlogan wanted to challenge it because he did not agree with their costs.
She observed that both men had filed separate claims but “what has been claimed is not what has or will be awarded”.
A decision, she said, has to be made by the court.
Donaldson-Honeywell said the State was seeking to offset the costs of the Galbaransingh and Ferguson claim with what they owed the State.
The Sunday Express also obtained the submission of the State which in turn is seeking over $15 million from the businessmen.
The State’s submission was filed on April 13.
Contacted on the matter AG Ramlogan yesterday denied rumours that he had paid millions of dollars in legal fees to both businessmen in respect of their successful case against the State.
“The claims were over grossly exaggerated and over-inflated. It is incredible that they would have paid those figures in legal fees for judicial review in the High Court. In the State’s experience, that figure is astronomical and without precedence,” he said by phone.
During the Section 34 controversy, the Sunday Express was told that the State had reimbursed significant sums of money spent by Galbaransingh and Ferguson in their legal matters.
But Ramlogan maintained that nothing was further from the truth.
He indicated that any money awarded to the businessmen by the court would be a drop in the bucket when compared to what they stated.
“There would obviously have to be an offset indicated,” he said.
Asked to estimate the State’s legal claim to the businessmen for its legal fees, Ramlogan indicated that the Solicitor General had estimated it at $15 million conservatively.
He pointed out that this figure did not take into account pending matters and work done at the Privy Council and said the claim could be as high as $25 million as the State retained an expensive British Queen’s Counsel in many of these cases.
“Not one red cent will be paid to these defendants under my watch because taxpayers have expended millions of dollars in defence of the State,” he said.
“It is clear that there is a smear campaign against me but I am very comfortable with my conduct with these matters. It is above board and can withstand public scrutiny. People seem to forget that I was the one who ordered their extradition to the US and objected to bail being granted as a result of which they were incarcerated for many months for the first time in the history of the endless legal battles against the State,” he explained.
Asked whether he thought the matter was linked to former justice minister Herbert Volney and the Section 34 fiasco, Ramlogan chuckled: “I find the timing to be somewhat curious and am amused but not perturbed.”
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Offline Brownsugar

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Re: Ish Galbaransingh in jail.
« Reply #157 on: September 23, 2012, 06:23:39 AM »
And the hits just keep on coming!!!!   :cursing: :bs: :frustrated: :banginghead:
"...If yuh clothes tear up
Or yuh shoes burst off,
You could still jump up when music play.
Old lady, young baby, everybody could dingolay...
Dingolay, ay, ay, ay ay,
Dingolay ay, ay, ay..."

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Offline Flex

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Re: Ish Galbaransingh in jail.
« Reply #158 on: September 26, 2012, 02:51:30 AM »
AG: Don’t blame me for Clause 34 fiasco
By Shirvan Williams (Guardian).


Attorney General Anand Ramlogan yesterday said the early proclamation of the controversial Section 34 was aimed at clearing the backlog of cases in the local courts. He rejected suggestions that it was designed to create a loophole for businessmen Ish Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson to escape prosecution. Ramlogan was speaking yesterday with members of the media after the opening of the new law term of the Industrial Court, St Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain.

He said he did not feel that Section 34 was rushed to be proclaimed to deal with any specific case. He said the law was only to help the backlog of cases before the courts at this time. Ramlogan said because the Government had no influence on the court system, he believed the law would have helped to expedite cases that have been languishing in the judicial system.

He insisted he attended Cabinet meetings when Section 34 was being discussed, but believes the right ministry has been held accountable. This, even though Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bisessar had said in her address to the nation on September 20 on the controversial Section 34 that the Attorney General was on vacation when the decisions about the now repealed act were taking place.

“I don't think the Prime Minister’s statement ever said that I wasn’t present at the Cabinet meeting,” he said. “The point is at the Cabinet meeting you have the individual responsibility of the minister, which she stressed, who would have given the advice to Cabinet, and it was based on representations and assurances that were given to the effect that, you know, the Chief Justice had approved of the proclamation and the timeline and it is on that basis that Cabinet acted.

“The line minister with responsibility for the bill is the Minister of Justice and he said publicly, prior to his being relieved of his duties, that he accepted full responsibility for the matter. He having said as line minister that he accepted full responsibility for the matter, I think it is really now down to political gamesmanship to now call for the head of anybody else.”

Ramlogan added that the AG’s responsibility to advice the Cabinet on matters of the law usually applied to civil court matters as opposed to criminal matters. He said the Ministry of Justice was specifically designed to deal with criminal matters.

“Although the Attorney General is the legal adviser to the Cabinet, bear in mind there are two branches of law,” he said.

“There is a civil branch and a criminal branch, and no lawyer should present themselves as an expert in every area of the law. In the last four or five Attorneys General we have not had an Attorney General from the criminal bar.

“I have never done a criminal case, save my first year in practice, for all my years of practice, and I make that point although the Attorney General is the legal adviser to the Cabinet, when we created the Ministry of Justice, the criminal portfolio was assigned to that ministry and the gazetted allocation of ministerial responsibility placed criminal legislation and the reform of the criminal justice system under that particular ministry. That meant therefore that the staff with the expertise in criminal law will go to that ministry.” He said he did not have any criminal lawyers in his ministry.

“The Government does not control the courts, we don’t control the prosecution, but these cases should be put on a fast track and we should convene an ad hoc Dole Chadee-type court outside of the loop from the regular system to try these cases on a day-to-day basis until completion,” Ramlogan said. “I still feel that is the only way that justice will be done in these cases and it’s left to be seen but I am hopeful.”

He added that it was common to have amendments passed during debates on the floor of the Parliament without the knowledge of the Law Reform Commission (LRC). There was an oversight in the early proclamation of Section 34 by the entire Parliament and not just the Government, he said. Ramlogan said he was sure that the Government would not persuaded by any bullying tactics to call a general election.

“I think what is happening now is Dr Rowley is trying to cement his position as the political leader of a party that has three factions…the Imbert faction, the Rowley faction and Manning faction,” he said. “So what you really have is a coalition opposition that is trying to unite itself so that it can present itself as a credible alternative to the Government. That is not going to work.

“Cries for early elections are perhaps nostalgic because of his own experience under his own party…where they twice called early elections, destabilised the country and lost on both counts. "Dr Rowley has a history of bullying and behaving in a manner that his own Prime Minister described as wajang and hooligan. Such political hooliganism and wajang behaviour will not be tolerated by the People's Partnership.

“Their job is to oppose not propose. Our job is to govern and we have a mandate for five years and we will govern this country. Dr Rowley will not bully this government. This is not a PNM Cabinet where he can pelt teacups, remote controls and get on like a hooligan and that kind of wajang behaviour that former Prime Minister Patrick Manning alluded to.”He also said that PNM's march and political pressure placed on the Prime Minister had nothing to do her decision to remove Volney from office.

Timeline of the controversial clause

November 8, 2011
Justice Ronnie Boodoosingh quashes an order to extradite businessmen Ishwar Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson to the US on charges of misconduct arising from the Piarco Airport Project. Boodoosingh says T&T is the correct forum to try them.
November 11, 2011
Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Bill is laid in the House of Representatives.
November 18
Bill is debated in the House of Representatives with its original Section 34 provision that someone cannot be tried for an offence if seven years have elapsed since the court proceedings started. The Government proposes that this period be changed to ten years.
November 29
The bill is debated in the Senate. Justice Minister Herbert Volney moves an amendment to Section 34 for the statutory ten-year limitation to run from the date on which the offence was committed rather than from the start of criminal proceedings. 
December 16
President George Maxwell Richards assents to the act and it awaits proclamation.
December 17
Queen’s Counsel James Lewis, who was retained by Attorney General Anand Ramlogan to advise on the extradition of Galbaransingh and Ferguson, is told they will receive a speedy trial in T&T. As a result of this assurance, Lewis advises against appealing.
December 19
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan says in a statement that “the ends of justice” will be served by foregoing the appeal and allowing criminal prosecution of Galbaransingh and Ferguson to proceed in the local courts. He says that decision is based on the advice given to him by Lewis.
December 20
The United States Embassy expresses disappointment at the AG’s decision  not to appeal Boodoosingh's decision not to extradite Galbaransingh and Ferguson.
July 20
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan leaves T&T on an overseas trip.
July 24
Justice Minister Herbert Volney meets with Chief Justice Ivor Archie, Minister of Public Administration Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan, acting Attorney General Ganga Singh, Minister of National Security Jack Warner and Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard, SC, at the Hall of Justice to discuss Section 34.
August 4
Attorney General Ramlogan returns to T&T.
August 9
On the basis of a note presented by Justice Minister Herbert Volney, Cabinet agrees to the proclamation of Section 34 ahead of the other sections of the act.
August 28
President George Maxwell Richards signs a proclamation to bring Section 34 into effect on August 31.
August 31
Section 34 is proclaimed.
September 9
Sunday Guardian reports:  “Ish and Steve to walk free: Piarco cases to be dropped, inquiries scrapped.”
September 10
Galbaransingh and Ferguson, along with other accused charged in the Piarco Airport corruption scandal, file applications to have their cases discharged following the proclamation of Section 34.
September 12
Parliament convenes to repeal Section 34
September 13
DPP Roger Gaspard says he was stunned  to learn through the media about the proclamation of Section 34 on Independence Day.
The Senate votes to repeal Section 34.
September  19
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar meets with the CJ and the DPP, who tell her they were not consulted on Section 34’s early proclamation.
September 20
Justice Minister Herbert Volney is fired and attorney Christlyn Moore is announced as his replacement.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Flex

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Re: Ish Galbaransingh in jail.
« Reply #159 on: October 04, 2012, 02:51:23 AM »
'Ish, Steve will go free'
By Asha Javeed (Express.).


Despite the repeal of the controversial Section 34 of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act, Independent Senator Elton Prescott SC believes those who have made applications under the Act will still walk free.

His view is also shared by Opposition senator Faris al-Rawi.

Among the applicants for freedom are financiers of the United National Congress (UNC), Ishwar Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson.

"It is my view that those applicants under the now repealed Section 34 are going to challenge the constitutionality of the repealed legislation and it is my view that they will do so successfully," said Prescott.

The normally reserved Prescott prefaced his comments by stating he was "not going to protect myself today." 

He was speaking at a forum titled "Section 34: Dealing with the Issues" hosted by the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) at the University of the West Indies in St Augustine yesterday.

Panellists at the forum which became heated at times were Prescott, Al-Rawi, Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal and UWI lecturer Bishnu Ragoonath.

Other people and entities who have sought to have their corruption matters dismissed under Section 34 are former finance minister Brian Kuei Tung, Ameer Edoo, Maritime Life General Insurance Co Ltd executives John Henry Smith and Barbara Gomes; Maritime Finance; Northern Construction Ltd; Fidelity Finance Leasing Company Ltd; and former government ministers Carlos John and Russell Huggins.

Prescott said that the applicants would win in any court.

"The Court of Appeal will say it is repugnant to have introduced this repeal. These men have made an application under the old law, they will say it is unconstitutionally interfering with our powers, we are going to look at the application to discharge. And if the appeal should go further to the highest court they themselves might express the view that it is ad hominem legislation, it is retrospective, it is a regrettable incursion into the judicial sphere, it is unconstitutional, it undermines the separation of powers. We cannot uphold this piece of legislation," he stated.

"So back the applicants come five years later or three years later—we have won our cases in all of the courts—you cannot use this repealed legislation to take away the right that we have to have a trial, fair trial.And then the argument starts, can we have a fair trial?" he added.

Prescott, along with four other Independent Senators did not vote for the repeal of Section 34 in Parliament last month. The controversial section would have allowed accused persons with charges more than ten years old whose trial had not yet started to walk free.

"It is my view that we were doing the wrong thing and it is not going to stand scrutiny," he said of that decision.

Further, he pointed out that the amendment to the act did not say why the act was repealed.

"The law does not tell us what its purpose is," he noted.

"We had permitted a number of people to take advantage of the law who ought not to have been given that right and we were setting out to take away those rights," he observed.

Al-Rawi said: "The horse has bolted. The constitutionality of the repealed legislation is going to be challenged. There is risk of ad hominem (directed to the man) debate prevailing. It speaks to whether legislation is going to be held to be unconstitutional for running afoul of the separation of powers principle in telling the judiciary that it must do something. The important subset of that is whether you are directing a law to affect certain people only."

Al-Rawi said that during the Parliament debate, irresponsible statements were made by Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, the former minister of justice Herbert Volney and Sport Minister Anil Roberts. He said the did not adhere to the sub judice rule in the Parliament chambers and all spoke to a theory of exculcation and of a theory of conspiracy against certain gentlemen.

"Those very Hansard debates are going to be used by the courts of this land and elsewhere to argue that the repealing legislation is ad hominem cause it was designed to affect those people," he said.

Both Prescott and al Rawi disagreed with a statement made by acting President Timothy Hamel-Smith that the legislation was "flawed."

They agree that the law was a good law and in long in coming.

However, while Al-Rawi took issue with the early proclamation of the act against assurances given to the Opposition in Parliament, Prescott argued that it encroached on the rights of the judiciary.

He said it is the business of the court to interpret the law.

He explained that Section 34 gave the judge a right discharge an applicant and "judges would have judicial discretion".

Chief Whip Dr Roodal Moonilal said that he believed that the issue was migrating from an issue of governance to a competitive political issue. About the firing of the minister of justice, Moonilal said the issue of individual responsibility came before collective responsibility.

He said while errors have been made, the Government has acted responsibly in its handling of the matter.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

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Re: Ish Galbaransingh in jail.
« Reply #160 on: October 24, 2012, 02:56:00 AM »
Section 34 applicants appear before High Court judge
By JADA LOUTOO (Newsday), October 23 2012


ALMOST all of the 26 applicants who sought freedom from prosecution under the controversial and now repealed Section 34 of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act, yesterday appeared before Justice Mira Dean-Armorer in the High Court for the first hearing of the matter.

All but six of them are also expected to file constitutional motions challenging Parliament’s repeal of the clause. Six motions have been filed, three by former UNC financier/businessman Steve Ferguson and Maritime executives John Henry Smith and Barbara Gomes. Three additional motions were subsequently filed by three of the companies also charged in the decade-old Piarco criminal prosecutions.

Dean-Armorer is hearing both the constitutional claim and the Section 34 applications and has indicated that she intends on proceeding with the constitutional matters first.

She will also be hearing arguments on her possible recusal after she disclosed that she has represented the Office of the Attorney General in a lawsuit against businessman Ishwar Galbaransingh.

“I was in the team for the Attorney General against Mr Galbaransingh,” she said, noting also that she also recused herself from hearing one of the extradition challenges filed by the former UNC financier in 1998.

An adjournment of two weeks has been granted to allow parties to file the relevant constitutional claims.

It was a packed courtroom as attorneys seeking the interests of the 26 appeared before the judge.

Those seeking to have their decade-old cases discharged are: Russell Huggins, Renee Pierre, Anderson Meharris, Amrith Maharaj, Aman Harripersad, Collin Catlyn, Oswald Catlyn, Ishwar Galbaransingh, Northern Construction Ltd, Carlos John, Ameer Edoo, Steve Ferguson, Brian Kuei Tung, Barbara Gomes, John Henry Smith, Brent Alvarez, Carlton Roop, Dane Lewis, Montgomery Diaz, Maritime Life Caribbean, Sadiq Baksh, Fidelity Finance and Leasing Co Ltd, Basdeo and Oma Panday, Maritime General and Krishna Persad versus George Nicholas. The latter is a private complaint being heard in the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court.

The majority of yesterday’s hearing was spent going through the representations for all 26.

Among the lawyers to represent the 26 are British Queen’s Counsel Edward Fitzgerald and Andrew Mitchell and they will be joined by Fyard Hosein, SC, Sophia Chote, SC, Osbourne Charles, SC, Rajiv Persad, Ravi Rajcoomar, Rishi Dass, Michelle Solomon-Baksh, John Heath, Richard Mason, Asha Watkins-Monteserin, Raphael Morgan and Robin Otway. Keith Scotland appears for George Nicholas in the private complaint while Justin Phelps appears for Dr Krishna Persad.

Representing the State will be British Queen’s Counsel Lord Pannick and British lawyer Tom Richards, who will join Israel Khan, SC, Solicitor General Eleanor Donaldson-Honeywell, Gerald Ramdeen, Wayne Sturge and Satram Persad.

Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard, SC, is expected to be represented by Ian Benjamin, who has until Thursday to file an application to join the constitutional claim lawsuit.

Hosein, speaking on behalf of the six who have filed claims so far, said they will be objecting to the DPP’s application to join, but will wait until the application to do so is filed.

“It will be interesting to see what he says,” Hosein said.

Attorneys are expected to meet and discuss the management of the case and will again appear before the judge on November 19, with their proposals as to the proper management of the case.

Of the Section 34 applications, 23 were filed in Port-of-Spain while three were filed in San Fernando and it was agreed by attorneys representing those persons who filed that one judge would hear all the cases in an effort to save judicial time. Attorneys are also expected to come to an agreement on the complex constitutional arguments to be submitted to the judge.

Despite the contentious clause being repealed and assented to by President George Maxwell Richards, those who have filed applications still pursued their claims to have their matters, all of which date back ten years or more, dismissed on the grounds of abuse. All 26 individuals who have filed applications have contended that the offences which they were alleged to have committed are ten years or more before the date of their applications and as such they met the preconditions laid down by the provisions in Section 34.

Added to the argument of abuse are arguments of infringement of the constitutional right to protection of the law with the contention that rights cannot be taken away by Parliament retrospectively. The amendment to the Act, which gave effect to the repeal of the clause, states, in part, that notwithstanding any law to the contrary, no rights, privileges, obligations, liabilities or expectations shall be deemed to have been acquired, accrued, incurred or created under the repealed Section 34. However, to stave off any counter-claim that the repeal of the clause prohibits legal challenges, lawyers will seek to argue that a person who was entitled to benefit under a law at the time should not be deprived because of the decision to repeal the Act.

The law was intended to abolish preliminary inquiries for serious criminal cases and provided that after the expiration of ten years from the date on which an offence is alleged to have been committed persons will be given automatic freedom when they apply before a judge in chambers. The controversial section, which was repealed in the Parliament last month, is being challenged on the grounds it undermined the separation of powers and took away the rights of those who had filed applications to have their cases, some more than ten years old, dismissed by a High Court judge as was initially prescribed by Section 34.

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State picks top QC for Ish, Steve lawsuit
« Reply #161 on: November 09, 2012, 03:39:50 AM »
State picks top QC for Ish, Steve lawsuit
By ANDRE BAGOO Friday, November 9 2012
T&T Newsday


ATTORNEY General Anand Ramlogan has retained the services of Lord Pannick QC, a barrister and life peer who once represented the Queen, to represent the State in the lawsuit brought by Ish Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson, in the wake of the Section 34 fiasco.

Ramlogan said this week that Lord Pannick will lead a legal team for the State in the constitutional lawsuit filed by both men in September, after the State repealed Section 34 in the space of days after it emerged that the section would have had the effect of compelling a judge to order a not guilty plea in long-standing corruption charges against both. The attorney will lead a team in the case, due to come up for hearing later this month.

Born David Philip Pannick, Baron Pannick QC, 56, is described as a leading barrister in the United Kingdom, and cross-bencher in the House of Lords.

Lord Pannick was this year described by the UK’s Times Law 100 as the tenth most powerful lawyer in the UK, “Described by one judge as ‘leader of the cross-benchers’ and as having ‘incredible influence’ in Parliament, it could almost be overlooked that Lord Pannick is one of the country’s most powerful advocates”.

The fee on brief for such a QC, lawyers said, would most certainly be in excess of $1 million, adding yet another legal cost in a saga which has seen the State expend in excess of $72 million on cases involving Galbaransingh and Ferguson, all of which are linked to the $1.6 billion Piarco International Airport project.

Lawyers for the State have noted the men have brought a barrage of cases against the State, provoking public expense, while lawyers for the men have insisted that the cases represented the men exercising legal rights.

Lord Pannick, of Blackstone Chambers, has appeared in 100 cases in the House of Lords (before it was replaced by the new Supreme Court). His clients have included the Queen, winning an injunction in the High Court to restrain The Daily Mirror from publishing further allegations about her home life by a reporter who had gained employment as a footman. He has also appeared in court for Diana, Princess of Wales.

Another client was Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a former Russian oligarch and businessman once said to be the richest man in Russia. Another client was Greg Rusedski, whom he represented at a tennis tribunal in Montreal, defeating allegations that he was guilty of a doping office.

Lord Pannick also appeared for The Times in the famous Spycatcher case, where newspapers were charged with contempt after publishing the details of a memoir by a former high-ranking officer of MI5, which had been banned from publication by the British government. He also represented Tiny Rowland and Lonrho plc in the battle with Mohammed Al-Fayed concerning the take-over of Harrods, the famous London department store.

Ramlogan has been criticised for the partial proclamation of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act, which was gazetted without consultation of key stakeholders, including the Chief Justice Ivor Archie. Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar sacked Minister of Justice Herbert Volney, who had tabled the Cabinet Note calling for partial proclamation, in August, days before the country’s Jubilee Independence celebrations. She took no action against Ramlogan, chief legal adviser to the Cabinet.

Ramlogan has come under fire for his handling of the proclamation, but has also faced questions over his handling of the extradition case of both men – said to be financiers of the UNC – in general since he took office in 2010. The time-line of his decision to not appeal a court ruling which quashed his own extradition order, in relation to the assent and premature proclamation of the Act, has raised questions over his conduct of the case.

The United States Embassy has publicaly expressed disappointment and concern over the prospect that Galbaransingh and Ferguson will not be subject to trial. In an interview on Wednesday, Ramlogan responded to queries over Section 34 by saying he had retained Lord Pannick to ensure the State had adequate representation.

He further said, “I am committed now, as I always was, to securing justice in matters relating to Ish and Steve. Confusion has arisen because of the successful challenge of my extradition order. It has been linked to Section 34, when the irony is, had I appealed, the time under Section 34 would have continued to run to make the ten-year-mark, possibly without the trial ever taking place because the criminal proceedings were stayed.”

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Bakes

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Re: Ish Galbaransingh in jail.
« Reply #162 on: November 09, 2012, 04:50:37 AM »
Buy foreign...

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Re: Ish Galbaransingh in jail.
« Reply #163 on: April 05, 2013, 04:38:29 PM »
BREAKING NEWS: ISH AND STEVE LOSE SECTION 34 CASE
...Ish and Steve suffered no prejudice by repeal, says Court.

By DARREN BARAW - News Editor
http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/High-Court-Throws-Out-Section-34-Lawsuit-201660711.html
Story Created: Apr 5, 2013 at 2:57 PM ECT
Story Updated: Apr 5, 2013 at 3:47 PM ECT

JUSTICE Mira Dean-Armorer this afternoon dismissed all the arguments raised by the Section 34 applicants, which include businessmen Ish Galbaransingh, Steve Ferguson, and Ameer Edoo.

She also refused to grant a stay of the criminal proceedings against the men, telling their lawyers to take their case before the Appeal Court.

The judge handed down her ruling in the Hall of Justice, Port of Spain, in a 175 page judgment.

THE FOLLOWING IS THE JUDGMENT -

....see link....

Offline weary1969

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Re: Ish Galbaransingh in jail.
« Reply #164 on: April 05, 2013, 04:53:02 PM »
They appealing but the AG eh appeal d decision not 2 extradite them. Games and more games
Today you're the dog, tomorrow you're the hydrant - so be good to others - it comes back!"

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Re: Ish Galbaransingh in jail.
« Reply #165 on: April 06, 2013, 04:16:40 AM »
ISH,STEVE LOSE
By Jada Loutoo Saturday, April 6 2013


BUSINESSMEN Ishwar Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson, and 40 other persons, will face prosecution in their respective criminal trials having failed to get the courts to deem as unconstitutional the amendment to the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act, which prevented the automatic dismissal of their cases under the controversial Section 34.

Justice Mira Dean-Armorer yesterday dismissed all the arguments raised by those facing trial in the courts, which included Galbaransingh, Ferguson, those charged in the Piarco 1 and 2 prosecutions, as well as several others who filed similar applications under the now repealed Section 34.

The judge also refused to grant a stay of the criminal proceedings against the men, telling their lawyers to “try their luck” in the Appeal Court.

Dean-Armorer handed down her ruling in the Hall of Justice, Port-of-Spain, in a 175-page judgment.

While Galbaransingh and Ameer Edoo and their lawyers refused to comment on the judge’s ruling yesterday, Ferguson told reporters he was “not worried.”

“The truth will come out in the end,” he said, as he hurriedly left the courthouse and tried to avoid the large group of media personnel, as the other two had done before him.

The judge was asked to consider whether the Act which repealed Section 34, with retroactive effect, had infringed the rights of those who sought freedom from prosecution.

Three constitutional claims, those of Ferguson, Ameer Edoo, and Maritime Life (Caribbean ) Limited (Maritime General Insurance Company Limited and Fidelity Finance and Leasing Company Limited), were chosen as test cases and attorneys for the other applications agreed to abide by the decision of the judge.

Attorneys arguing for the applicants in the Section 34 test cases insisted that their rights were breached when Parliament repealed Section 34. They also contended that the Director of Public Prosecutions abused his power by recommending to the Attorney General (AG) that Section 34 had to be repealed to save the criminal prosecutions in the Piarco Airport fraud matters.

It was also their contention that to repeal Section 34 was an abuse and an infringement of their constitutional right to protection of the law. They argued that their rights could not be taken away by Parliament retrospectively as Section 34 gave them a guaranteed right of freedom from prosecution. They further argued that they had met the criteria set out in the clause and the amendment which repealed it went against the separation of powers as it sought to direct the courts what course of actions should be adopted when treating with the Section 34 applicants. Lawyers in the test case argued that the public’s outcry over the proclamation of Section 34 led to the repeal of the law and the three claimants asked that the judge grant them a permanent stay of the criminal proceedings against them. Arguments in the matter came to an end in February.

Dean-Armorer spent close to an hour yesterday reading through her introduction and the reasons for her decision to a courtroom packed with attorneys, as well as Galbaransingh, Ferguson and Edoo.

She said according to the uncontroverted evidence, the legislative objective which led to the enactment of the Amendment Act was the correction of an oversight on the part of the entire Parliament.

“The means employed to achieve the objective was not only a simple repeal of the section but also a provision for its retrospective operation. Parliament set out to achieve the metaphorical clean slate,” she noted. “In my view the measures designed to meet the objective cannot be described as irrational.”

According to Dean-Armorer, while Parliament’s oversight may have led to excessive expenditure of resources, its actions by repealing Section 34, did not take away the benefits of the right of presumption of innocence or a fair trial from those who filed applications.

“The benefit to which the claimant became entitled was in reality a by-product of a section which was designed to meet other needs.”

“Section 34, as with other limitation provisions, was not designed to take account of the merits of the proceedings to which it was applied, by virtue of only the time when an offence was allegedly committed or a cause of action arose, the consequence flowed automatically bringing the proceedings to an end. It was incumbent on the accused to do no more than approach the court by filing his application under Section 34,” she pointed out.

She said with the retrospective repeal of Section 34, the fair process which had earlier protected those accused remained unchanged and intact.

“He may have lost the opportunity afforded by the limitation provision (Section 34),” she said, but noted that, “he has however suffered no deprivation of the fair process which the Constitution guarantees and which the presiding magistrate is empowered to enforce.”

“It is, therefore, my view that the Amendment Act has wrought no contravention of the right of the claimant’s liberty or property and the right not to be deprived by due process of law,” Justice Dean-Armorer ruled, emphasising that the Section 34 applicants continued to “retain” the constitutional rights to which they were always entitled.

Galbaransingh and Ferguson are charged with a series of criminal offences arising out of the construction of the Piarco Airport Development Project dating back to 2002.

They have already been committed to stand trial for another series of criminal proceedings in the Piarco 1 matter and indictments are expected to be filed upon the completion of the Piarco 2 proceedings which are still pending before the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court. The latter is expected to come up on April 26, before Magistrate Ejenny Espinet.

The actual Section 34 applications are expected to be called before Dean-Armorer on April 12, at which time she will give directions on how they will be dealt with.

The proclamation of Section 34 of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act 2011, caused widespread outrage and condemnation from various sectors of society against the Government, and the original Act which was proclaimed by former President George Maxwell Richards on August 31, 2012, was repealed in an emergency sitting of Parliament in September and was assented to on November 14, 2012.

St Joseph MP, then justice minister, Herbert Volney, was fired by Prime Minister for allegedly “misleading the Cabinet” on the early Section 34 proclamation.

In her ruling, the judge referred to statements made by Volney in the Parliament and in the media on the rationale behind Section 34, saying he did no more than provide his opinion as to the proper interpretation of the enacted legislation.

She disagreed with lawyers for the claimants that his statements were clear and unambiguous representations that they would not stand trial “for historic offences.”

“It is clear that Minister Volney was making neither a promise or representation to the claimant or anyone else but was explaining the legislative plan of government to address endemic delays in the criminal justice system.”

On arguments that the claimants legitimately expected not to face trial for corruption offences, by virtue of the provisions of Section 34, the judge said there was none.

As she emphasised the amendment to the Act was simply the removal of a limitation provision, she said there was no effect on the merits of ongoing criminal proceedings. She also noted that the retroactive repeal was achieved expeditiously so as to minimise any detriment to the applicants.

She also cleared Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard, SC, of any impropriety, saying his actions did not fall beyond his functions to keep the AG informed so that he could account to Parliament on the affairs of his office as prescribed by the Constitution.

She said all he did was anxiously inform the AG as to the immediate effects of Section 34 and what it augured for the future.

In her lengthy ruling, the judge also dismissed claims that Parliament bowed to populist pressure, saying the function exercised by the legislature was not a quasi-judicial function but a purely legislative one and to examine its motive would be an “impermissible intrusion” as it was not proven that the repeal was not reasonably justified.

Turning her focus on whether the Amendment Act was inconsistent with the constitutional rights to liberty and not to be deprived of it except by due process of law, she said it was not, as she reiterated that repealing of the Act, retrospectively, was necessary to correct the parliamentary oversight created by the original Section 34.

She also found that the Parliament’s actions could not be construed as unlawful legislative interference in the business of the judiciary.

“As the guardian of the Constitution, the court must be concerned to uphold legislative competence of Parliament, which is invested by the Constitution with the platitude of legislative power for the peace, order and good government of the State. On the other hand, the court must be astute to stem any erosion of judicial power or to strike any legislation which causes judicial power to be wholly absorbed by the legislature and taken out of the hands of judges,” she noted.

Dean-Armorer agreed there was no mathematical formula by which the court could decide whether legislation constitutes interference, but said it had to consider the true nature of the legislation.

She said despite the alleged public furor which led to the enactment of the Amendment Act, it was not ad hominem, in that it did not specifically target any individual but was for the general application to all proceedings under Section 34 which were pending before any court.

She said the enacted Amendment Act, while a direction in substance, fell short of directing the court to dismiss proceedings.

“Having enacted the provision, the court continues to hold the power to hear submissions and place its own interpretation of the section, even if in reality there might be little room for manoeuvre.”

The judge, however, held that Section 7 of the Amended Act, which provides that persons who filled the criterion under Section 34 should be deemed to have acquired rights, privileges and obligations, was ambiguous and “may ultimately require interpretation as a provision resulting in manifest absurdity.”

But for this, she said, it did not constitute an impermissible direction to the court.

“When the deluge of the public furor has subsided, Section 34 would be seen for what it really is that is to say no more than a limitation provision providing for the dismissal of criminal proceedings not on the merits but on the ground of delay. Its repeal may have resulted in inconvenience to the claimant and to other persons who had been astute to institute applications under Section 34.

“The court continues, however, to be the guardian of the Constitution and above the din of public angst the court must keep its focus on the true import of the doctrine of separations of powers,” Dean-Armorer emphasised.

Parliament, she said, was vested with “the plentitude of legislative power for the peace, order and good government of the people of Trinidad and Tobago”; a power exercised subject to the supremacy of the Constitution, which she noted, provided for a judiciary consisting of independent judges charged to interpret and apply the law.

In dismissing the constitutional claims, Dean-Armorer ordered that Ferguson, Edoo and the Maritime companies pay the State the costs associated with the lawsuit they brought.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

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Re: Ish Galbaransingh in jail.
« Reply #166 on: April 06, 2013, 07:23:21 PM »
Max scolded PM over Section 34
‘Grave matter of public interest’
Trinidad Express
Story Created: Apr 6, 2013 at 8:47 PM ECT
Story Updated: Apr 6, 2013 at 8:47 PM ECT

Describing Section 34 as a “grave matter of ongoing public interest” that has shaken the confidence in the fundamental institutions of Trinidad and Tobago, then president George Maxwell Richards wrote a stern letter to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar in which he alleged that he had been misled into proclaiming the legislation and lamented the fact that the Prime Minister had taken to not making herself available for their weekly meetings.

The Sunday Express obtained a copy of the letter, which was dated December 7, 2012, three months prior to his March 17 departure from office.

Richards wrote: “Prime Minister, I am constrained to express my regret that I was not advised before the fact of the undertakings given to the Parliament and which would have served to secure the support of both Houses of Parliament in their entirety (for the passage of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings Act) which contained the controversial Section 34 clause).
“I am constrained in this regard, also, albeit with regret, to record that since your assumption of office the practice of the Prime Minister having regular meetings with the President (in the course of which matters of this nature could have been discussed) has not been maintained,” Richards stated.

Richards began by quoting Section 81 of the Constitution which, ironically was referred to by his successor, President Anthony Carmona, in his inaugural address to show that the President does indeed have power under the Constitution:

Section 81 states: “The Prime Minister shall keep the President fully informed concerning the general conduct of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and shall furnish the President with such information as he may request with respect to any particular matter relating to the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.”

In his letter, Richards stated that he was advised by the Cabinet that it was expedient to proclaim Section 34 of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings Act). He did so on August 28, 2012, bringing into operation, with effect from August 31, certain sections: Section 1, 2, 3 (1), 32 and 34 and Schedule 6 thereof.

Richards went abroad and returned on October 23, 2012.

In his letter. he said since his return he had taken cognisance of the Prime Minister's statement on the matter, made on September 20, 2012.

“I note that, among other things, you acknowledge that the Cabinet advice to the Office of the President was given in error in respect of the Section 34 proclamation and that this ought never to have occurred,” he said.

Richards said the Honourable Chief Justice and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago and the Embassy of the United States also had cause to issue statements.

He noted that the Section 34 proclamation also led to the removal from the Cabinet of then Minister of Justice, Herbert Volney; to the calling of an emergency session of the Parliament to repeal the Section 34 Proclamation; and a motion of censure laid in Parliament against the Attorney General.

“The matter has engaged the widespread attention of the general public of Trinidad and Tobago, has occasioned two public demonstrations through the streets of the nation's capital and has generated widespread commentary, on a sustained basis, in the daily print and electronic media,” Richards said.

He added: “Grave concern continues to be expressed by many, within and outside of the Parliament, that the Section 34 Proclamation may lead to the possibility of individuals avoiding criminal prosecution in several matters which are themselves the subject of great public interest.

“Prime Minister, I have given careful consideration to these matters and to the public interest implications. Particularly in so far as the President is required to discharge a role in this matter, I am concerned about the implications for the continued confidence of the public for, and the regard in which it would hold the institutions of State, to wit, the high offices of President, Parliament and the Cabinet.

“I am concerned also that public disquiet continues to exist at varying levels and in varying degrees of intensity. I am inclined to the view that the country has not settled, in so far as this matter is concerned, and that the mood remains grave,” Richards said.

He said the circumstances giving rise to the advice that it was expedient to bring Section 34 into effect and the consequential and prevailing disquiet were indisputably matters relating to the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, concerning, as it does, the very fundamental of the constitutional relationship between the Executive, the Parliament and the Judiciary and, equally, the fundamentals of governance.

“Consistent therefore with the high constitutional mandate of Section 81, I am compelled, in all the circumstances, to write to you to record my own grave concerns and to encourage you, with all appropriate and due propriety, to consider a comprehensive review to enable all options for possible remedial action to be explored and to ensure that the Office of the President be furnished with all the relevant facts. I wish to be absolutely sure of the antecedents leading to the request for the early proclamation of Section 34,” Richards stated.

He said he felt compelled further to request, “respectfully”, that the Prime Minister furnish him with information concerning the intent and circumstances giving rise to the Section 34 Proclamation and, most significantly, information as to why Section 34 of the act was singled out for early proclamation.

Richards noted that in his speech at the opening of the 2013 Law Term, the Chief Justice stated unequivocally that the Judiciary never discussed or contemplated partial proclamation of the act.

He also noted in the record of Hansard that specific undertakings were given to the Parliament that the Act would not be proclaimed before all procedural and administrative mechanisms were put in place.

“This adds to the concern which I entertain,” Richards said.
He said he was advised that it has long been recognised by the Court of Appeal of Independent Trinidad and Tobago that a delay between legislation being passed into law by the Parliament and the future date when it shall become operative law was permitted to enableministries or the Rules Committee to make appropriate administrative or other arrangements or to frame and publish necessary orders or rules of court.

“I am assured that there is absolutely nothing in Section 34 that required it to be proclaimed at an earlier date by way of preparation for or as a precursor to the proclamation of the rest of the act.

He advised the Prime Minister to pay particular attention to the following in addressing the information (requested):

i) What, at the late stage at which it was introduced, was the source or origin of Section 34 of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Bill 2011?
Was that late amended section in any form circulated amongst the various stakeholders for comment, and when and what course did it follow before being placed before Parliament as part of the bill for debate?
By stakeholders, he was referring at minimum, to the Judiciary, the Office of the DPP, the Law Association and the Criminal Bar Association.

ii) What assurances, if any, were given to the Opposition and Independent members of Parliament by any member of the Government with respect to the coming into effect and/or proclamation into law of the act?

iii) What assurances, if any, were given to stakeholders including the Judiciary and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions by any member of the Government with respect to the coming into effect and/or proclamation into law of the act?

iv) Having regard to its stand-alone nature, what, if any, consideration was given by the Cabinet to the probable or likely impact of the Section 34 Proclamation upon prosecutions at present engaging the attention of the courts?

v) What was the rationale informing the advice of the Cabinet that it was expedient that the President should issue a proclamation in terms to fix August 31, 2012 as the date on which the act, with the exception of Sections 3 (2) , (3) 4 to 31, 33, 35, Schedules 1 to 5 and Schedules 7 and 8 should come into operation?

vi) Why was Section 34 or the sixth schedue of the act not amended during the debates in Parliament or prior to proclamation so as to guard against the possibility that persons charged with serious fraud offences would not escape prosecution?

vii) As at August 28, 2012, what steps, if any, had been initiated and completed in order to have Cabinet approval for the amendment of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act.

viii) Beyond the repeal of the Section 34 Proclamation, is any consideration being given to a comprehensive review of the act in consultation with all stakeholders to address different probable scenarios which may arise on the outcome of court proceedings?

“Prime Minister, I am certain that you would agree that this is a grave matter of ongoing public interest and concern and relevant to the 'general conduct of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago'. I consider it incumbent upon me as President to make this request, particularly as it may yet not be too late for a comprehensive review to be undertaken, which may go a long way to restoring public trust and confidence in the institutions of State and the governance of Trinidad and Tobago,” said the President.
“I therefore look forward to your early attention to the matters that I have raised,” Richards concluded.

At a press conference on Friday, chairman of the Section 34 Roundtable, David Abdulah, said the Prime Minister had failed to furnish the President with a report on Section 34 as he requested.

Abdulah said notwithstanding the change in President, the matter of the President's request for an explanation remains standing.

Abdulah said he remained confident that President Carmona will address the matter under Section 81 of the Constitution, which requires the Prime Minister to provide answers to the President on such specific matters he may request.

Opposition Leader Keith Rowley, another Roundtable member, “reminded the country that the matter was still before the President for review...That issue is still in front of us, alive, well and unanswered”.

On Friday, High Court judge Justice Mira Dean-Armorer struck down every legal argument placed by Ishwar Galbaransingh, Steve Ferguson and other parties, who, through their attorneys, were attempting to stop criminal proceedings against them on the basis the repeal of Section 34 deprived them of the assurance from the State that they could have applied to have their matters dismissed.

At the time, Richards was severely criticised for sending the letter to the Prime Minister by National Security Minister Jack Warner, who labelled him as a PNM puppet.

Commentator Reginald Dumas also could not understand the point of Richards asking for an explanation for the early proclamation of Section 34, given the fact that he (Richards), acting on the advice of the Cabinet, had signed the Proclamation Order without raising any questions at the time.

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Re: Ish Galbaransingh in jail.
« Reply #167 on: April 07, 2013, 05:51:48 AM »
Ish, Steve to pay State legal costs of $7M
By SEAN DOUGLAS (NEWSDAY)
Sunday, April 7 2013


UNC financiers, Ishwar Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson, will have to fork out approximately $7 million to pay the State’s legal costs, after Justice Mira Dean-Armorer last Friday rejected the duo’s appeal against Parliament’s repeal of Section 34 of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act.

Section 34 proposed to throw out cases (except “blood offences”) that were not concluded a decade after the date of the alleged commission of the offence. Potential beneficiaries included Galbaransingh and Ferguson.

While the duo are likely to appeal to the Appeal Court, and maybe the Privy Council, they now face hefty legal costs for Friday’s judgment.

Yesterday, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan roughly estimated the cost of the State counsel to be “in the vicinity of $5 million to $7 million, minimum.”

“I have instructed the Solicitor-General (Eleanor Donaldson-Honeywell) to commence preparation of the State’s bill of costs,” he told Sunday Newsday yesterday.

The State’s team included two British Queen’s Counsel — Lord David Pannick QC and Allan Newman QC.

Ramlogan said the State had to spend money to match the appellants’ high-powered legal team. “The claimants had retained Lord Beloff QC, Edward Fitzpatrick QC, Fyard Hosein QC, Sophie Chote QC and a battery of lawyers. If the State did not match the arms in this battle, the Government would have been accused of under-preparing, with sinister, ulterior motives. So it was, money was spent, as evidenced by the comprehensive victory,” he said.

Asked if similar legal costs would be incurred if the appellants go to the Appeal Court, he replied, “Why change a winning team?” Ramlogan also said the Dean-Armorer judgment had not only preserved the “Ish and Steve” case, but also all the other cases of alleged corruption in TT, plus any future court-cases that might arise from the two current commissions of inquiry, respectively, into the 1990 coup attempt, and into the collapse of Clico and the Hindu Credit Union (HCU).

The AG also noted that paragraphs 445, 478 and 499 of the judgment focused on evidence given by him, declaring that he is the first attorney general to give evidence on behalf of the State, as he had also done in the case of the Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs). “The reason I went on affidavits is to point out that if Section 34 were to succeed is what that means is that all those corruption probes I instituted into Petrotrin, Udecott, Eteck, TTEC, UTT and so on would have all been caught by Section 34,” said Ramlogan.

“Remember the PNM was in power for eight years and by the time Section 34 came two years of us in Government had already passed and eight and two is ten, and the object of Section 34 is that if ten years have passed from the commission of the offence and you haven’t charged anybody with it, you can’t do anything else,” said the AG. “In the judgment, she (Dean-Armorer) averted to that, and she accepted that evidence, and she paid recognition to it.”

Ramlogan said paragraph 478 of Dean-Armorer’s judgment had noted the AG’s assertion that the “Ish and Steve” case was relevant to other corruption cases.

Ramlogan said there are many ongoing probes (Petrotrin, Udecott, TTEC, UTT) that could lead to future court action, and these had now been saved by last Friday’s ruling.

Ramlogan said last Friday’s ruling now clears the way for the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to pursue criminal charges arising from evidence in the two commissions of inquiry.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

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Re: Ish Galbaransingh in jail.
« Reply #168 on: August 24, 2013, 05:32:04 AM »
AG wants swift action on extraditions
Saturday, August 24 2013
T&T Newsday


THE CENTRAL Authority – the body charged with State-to-State cooperation in law enforcement matters – has been mandated “to act swiftly on all requests” by Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, his ministry yesterday said.

“Attorney General Ramlogan has mandated the Central Authority to act swiftly on all requests for extradition and legal assistance to strengthen respect for the rule of law in the context of cross border crimes and the clear need for greater international cross-border co-operation amongst countries,” the Ministry of the Attorney General stated in a press release issued on the early morning extradition of a Trinidadian wanted for a triple homicide in the United States. The Attorney General’s office made specific reference to the recent case involving a casino owner wanted for tax offences.

“The Attorney General also continues to liaise with US officials and provide legal assistance and practical cooperation in relation to David Migliore,” the release stated “Migliore is presently facing charges in the US of tax evasion and failing to file tax returns on approximately US$4 million.”

In the case of Trinidadian Keron Pierre, who was early yesterday morning extradited to Newark, New Jersey, in the company of US marshals to face trial for the 2009 murder of three people, the ministry said this was one of “the many successes” of the Central Authority.

“This is one of the many successes of the Central Authority under the direction of the Attorney General,” the release stated. “On 31st March this year, Doreen Alexander was extradited to the US to face charges relating to the kidnaping and murder of Balram ‘Balo’ Maharaj. Alexander is currently awaiting trial in the US courts.”

On August 5, Gary Govindass pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit hostage taking. Govindass was extradited to the United States in February 2012 to face charges relating to the kidnapping of Vedesh Mohan, the ministry said. The extradition process relating to his alleged co-conspirator, Hassan Atwell is currently underway.

Additionally, Andy Nelson was successfully extradited to the United Kingdom on September 14, 2012 to face two charges for conspiracy to supply and import cocaine. On February 1, 2013 Nelson pleaded guilty to both charges.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

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Re: Ish Galbaransingh in jail.
« Reply #169 on: December 11, 2014, 05:28:18 AM »
Lavish wedding for Galbaransingh’s son
By By Denyse Renne

Story Created: Jan 4, 2014 at 9:22 PM ECT

The son of United National Congress financier Ishwar Galbaransingh yesterday exchanged vows with his new bride in the presence of several Government ministers in Tobago.

Married yesterday at St Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Scarborough, Tobago were Syam Galbaransingh and Melanie Moses.

The reception was held at the Le Grand Courlan resort at Stonehaven Bay. The resort and spa is owned by the Galbaransingh family.

The younger Galbaransingh is the general manager of Millennium Metal Ltd.

Several Government ministers attended the lavish wedding in the sister isle.

The ministers started arriving at the ANR International Airport shortly after 7 a.m. and stayed at the Coco Reef Resort and the Magdalena Grand Beach Resort at Lowlands.

During the wedding ceremony officiant Father Emmanuel Pierre delivered a short message from Pope Francis from the Vatican who offered blessings on the occasion of the couple’s marriage.

Among the 900 guests at the wedding and reception were former prime minister Basdeo Panday, former works minister Carlos John, former finance minister Brian Kuei Tung, Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh, Trade Minister Vasant Bharath, Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal, Food Production Minister Devant Maharaj, Environment Minister Ganga Singh, Transport Minister Chandresh Sharma, businessman Junior Sammy, Chaguanas West MP Jack Warner, and businessman Steve Ferguson.

The reception was elaborate and lavish with premium drinks and champagne flowing.

Sources say also in attendance were the individuals charged with corruption coming out of the Piarco International Airport project.

The senior Galbaransingh is no stranger to controversy, as he, along with Ferguson were among the recipients of the now repealed Section 34 legislation.

In 2012, the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act 2011 was proclaimed by then president George Maxwell Richards in a move to end preliminary enquiries in the local courts. Certain parts of the Act were supposed to come into effect on January 1 last year.

The president’s proclamation was gazetted on August 30, 2012. With the Act in effect, the Preliminary Enquiry Act would have been replaced and nullified the need for a preliminary enquiry to be held in relation to matters filed indictably.

However, the act bore a controversial clause-Section 34(2)-which stated that if after ten years the case wasn’t heard, the accused could apply to a judge to have the charges dismissed. This clause would have seen Galbaransingh and businessman Steve Ferguson and several other supporters of the Government escaping the law. The controversial Section 34 was subsequently repealed and then minister of justice Herbert Volney who was fired after Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar accused him of “misleading Cabinet.”

Galbaransingh and Ferguson, are still wanted in the United States on a series of money laundering charges. The two were first indicted in 2005 in a Miami Federal Court on numerous fraud and money laundering charges, stemming from alleged bid rigging between 1996 and 2005 on contracts for the Piarco International Airport.

Last year High Court judge Justice Mira Dean-Armorer, in a 175-page ruling dismissed constitutional motions filed by Ferguson, Ameer Edoo and the companies regarding the repeal of Section 34.

The men appealed the ruling. That judgment is yet to be delivered.

—Additional reporting by Elizabeth Williams


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Re: Ish Galbaransingh in jail.
« Reply #170 on: July 22, 2015, 02:02:42 AM »
Ish’s lawyers looking at Jack’s statement
By Radhica Sookraj (Guardian).


One of the men implicated in the Section 34 fiasco, UNC financier Ishwar Galbaransingh, says his attorneys are reviewing Jack Warner's recent allegations that he gave bribes to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

Speaking briefly to the T&T Guardian after the opening of the Brickfield Packing House in Tabaquite yesterday, Galbaransingh refused to reveal whether the allegations were true or not, saying he will not dignify that with a response.

It has been a week since the accusation was made but despite this, Galbaransingh said no decision has been taken to sue Warner.

Asked whether it was true that he paid bribes amounting to $8 million to Persad-Bissessar, Galbaransingh said: “I cannot dignify anybody’s nonsense with a response.”

Asked whether he was taking any action against Warner for defamation, Galbaransingh said: “My lawyers are looking at it and I will let my lawyers respond.”

Pressed further as to whether Warner could expect another lawsuit, Galbaransingh said: “I never said anything about a lawsuit. I said my lawyers are looking at it.” He declined any further questions.

During a press conference last week, Warner said he was present when Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson allegedly gave Persad-Bissessar cheques amounting to over $8 million.

Warner had said: “In the run-up to the general election of May 2010, Mrs Kamla Persad Bissessar held several discussions with me on how we could assist Ish Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson since she felt they were both instrumental in removing the PNM from office in 1995 and had been poorly treated by the Manning administration.

“In one of those meetings which was held at the Gopaul’s residence in Tunapuna and at which I was present, Mr Galbaransingh and Mr Ferguson handed over to Mrs Persad-Bissessar a number of cheques totalling $8.3 million.”

Warner also spoke of the Section 34 amendment of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act 2011, saying it was “exposed for the deceit that is was.”

He also alleged that Persad-Bissessar was now trying to extradite him to the US because she wanted to appease the US Government for her mishandling of the Ish and Steve extradition.

Meanwhile, Works Minister Dr Suruj Rambachan also accused the media of supporting Warner’s deceit by not investigating the allegations before publishing.

“I am not going to dignify Mr Warner in any way. Warner is feeding off a hungry media and it is unfortunate that they are not checking the facts before they publish it. Therefore, in a sense, they are party to this kind of charade,” he said.

Last week Persad-Bissessar also denied all of Warner’s allegations, saying she would speak to her “lawyers about ending his malicious actions.”

Galbaransingh and Ferguson were first indicted in a Miami Federal Court in 2005 on 95 fraud and money laundering charges.

The charges arise out of alleged bid rigging between 1996 and 2005 on contracts for the Piarco International Airport. In 2011, the US Embassy expressed disappointment with the decision by the High Court not to allow the extradition of the two businessmen to face fraud charges.

In December 2011 the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act was enacted by both Houses of Parliament and received the assent of then President George Maxwell Richards on December 16, 2011.

Included in the Act was Section 34 which prescribed a limitation period of ten years in respect of certain offences, excluding treason, murder, kidnapping rape, assault, drug trafficking and arms and ammunition possession. Both men, along with 37 others, were set to walk free with the passage of the legislation.

On September 10, 2012, Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard, SC, wrote to Attorney General Anand Ramlogan indicating his concern with Section 34 and its implications for the pending Piarco prosecutions. Three days later Section 34 was repealed following a special sitting of Parliament.
The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

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Re: Ish Galbaransingh in jail.
« Reply #171 on: July 22, 2015, 05:28:58 AM »
http://m.guardian.co.tt/news/2015-07-22/suruj-why-should-unc-stay-away-ish

Suruj: Why should UNC stay away from Ish?

Given the political heat surrounding Ish Galbaransingh and allegations of bribery over Section 34, senior members of Government are still insisting he remains free to bid for State projects.

Galbaransingh won the bid for the construction of the $14 million Brickfield Packing House which was opened on Monday in Tabaquite. His company Aztec Asphalt Pavers Ltd was responsible for completing the facility in record time.

In an interview yesterday, Works Minister Dr Suruj Rambachan said he did not agree that the UNC should distance itself from Galbaransingh and his company in light of allegations by ILP leader Jack Warner that businessman Steve Ferguson allegedly paid $8 million in bribes to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

Warner was expected to provide evidence of the alleged bribes in a press conference yesterday but it was postponed.

In an email, Warner said an additional piece of information had surfaced and needed to be verified. He also said the inclement weather would pose a difficulty for some persons who wished to attend the press conference.

Galbaransingh, in an interview, said his attorneys were reviewing Warner’s accusations.

However, Rambachan said despite the issue, Galbaransingh should not be banned from bidding for projects.

“Those were public bids and if Galbaransingh wins the bid, he cannot be denied because he is free to bid and tender for any project,” Rambachan said.

He added: “I don’t think the UNC should distance themselves from him at all. He had a company that was existing way before and after the Piarco airport project.”

Rambachan could not provide details of the tendering process and directed questions to Food Production Minister Devant Maharaj.

Contacted on his cellphone yesterday, Maharaj said he also disagreed with the notion that Galbaransingh should be sidelined because of the allegations.

He added: “As far as I am aware his company tendered like everybody else. Whatever tender rules existed he emerged as the successful bidder.

“Why should we distance ourselves? Is it that he is not allowed to do business in Trinidad? Should we terminate any projects for which he has won a bid?

“What is the basis of the discrimination against him. If we do this we can open up ourselves to litigation?” Maharaj asked.

He also denied knowledge of the tendering process, saying it was handled by the National Agricultural Marketing and Development Corporation (Namdevco).

“The details of implementation and execution was done by Namdevco. I didn’t even know Galbaransingh’s company was doing this project,” Maharaj said.

He directed questions to Namdevco’s CEO Ganesh Gangapersad, who assured that Aztec Pavers won the contract because it had the lowest bid.

He said he was out of office and could not provide details of the tenders but would do so when he got in office today.
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Re: Ish Galbaransingh in jail.
« Reply #172 on: November 26, 2018, 01:33:30 AM »
Judge blanks Ish and Steve.
By Jada Loutoo (Newsday).


ONLY 14 of the 53 cases left unfinished by former chief magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar when she took up a position as a judge in April, last year, are left to be determined.

Justice Carol Gobin provided the update in a recent decision in which she dismissed an application by businessmen Steve Ferguson, Ishwar Galbaransingh, Brian Kuei Tung and others to join the State’s interpretation lawsuit over the short-lived judicial appointment of Ayers-Caesar.

The three businessmen, as well as Peter Cateau and Tyrone Gopee, all of whom are facing fraud charges out of the construction of the Piarco International Airport, filed the application because the magistrate hearing their case retired earlier this year leaving their preliminary inquiry incomplete.

In her decision, Gobin said to grant the applications to intervene “will inevitably result in further delay in determination of the interpretation summons which was filed just over one year ago. “This consequence is undesirable and unjustifiable,” she said.

According to Gobin, she has been cognisant of the need for the interpretation summons to be dealt with expedition “because of the understandable and undeniable claims of the several accused persons, whose part heard trials were affected by the elevation of the chief magistrate to the bench, of extreme hardship, unfairness and prejudice.”

“ I have not been insensitive to the feelings of the families of victims and other affected persons,” she said.

According to her, the Director of Public Prosecution said that of the 53 matters left unfinished, only 14 are now left to be determined.

“Given the public importance of the matter, an early resolution may go some way to restoring some measure of public confidence in the system. An outcome which gives rise to the possibility of further embarrassment to the system has to be avoided.”

She also said she was not persuaded by the arguments put forward by the Piarco accused for their reasons to intervene, saying their claim had no place in the AG’s summons before her and would add complexity to the narrow case left for her to determine.

Gobin also said she considered the prejudice to be suffered by other accused whose cases were affected by the elevation of the former chief magistrate since one of them had to be adjourned while the preliminary issue of the joinder application had to be determined.

“So far the decision in the connected matter has already been adjourned on two occasions.

The delay has been unavoidable but nonetheless embarrassing and a matter of regret. It is

not fair to the parties in the connected matter to have further postponements of that judgment to a more distant date.”

With the applications of the Piarco accused having been refused, Gobin directed that submissions be filed on the interpretation summons before December 12.

She has promised to make every effort to determine the matter before the end of the year.

In the interpretation lawsuit, the AG is seeking to determine Ayers-Caesar’s status of a magistrate when she took up a judicial appointment in April last year. She resigned after two weeks amid public furore over the 53 cases she left unfinished, when she accepted the position. The case is also seeking to determine if Ayers-Caesar could have been allowed to return to complete the cases or what measures could have been taken to resolve the issue.

Some of the accused persons directly affected have agreed to have their cases restarted by Ayers-Caesar’s successor Maria Busby-Earle-Caddle, and have since been completed.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.