Haffizool press conference cancelled
By ANDRE BAGOO Saturday, February 2 2013
HOURS before it was due to take place, lawyers acting on behalf of Commissioner in the 1990 Attempted Coup Inquiry Haffizool Ali-Mohammed yesterday put off a press conference at which he was supposed to respond to allegations raised in newspaper reports.
Ali-Mohammed was excused from proceedings of the inquiry at the Caribbean Court of Justice, Henry Street, Port-of-Spain, for a third day in a row and did not deliver a statement as expected since he was first excused from the inquiry by chairman Sir David Simmons on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, Sir David in a statement at the inquiry, said Mohammed would take legal advice in order to prepare a response to these newspaper articles. Sir David added that Mohammed was excused from the inquiry for that day’s sitting and possibly Thursday’s.
Also on Wednesday afternoon, Ali-Mohammed’s lawyers Martin George issued a press statement saying they were aiming at having a comprehensive response to the issues raised in the articles via a press conference yesterday.
“We are looking at, among other things, the governing legislation which regulates Commissions of Inquiry, their establishment and their conduct of proceedings,” attorney George wrote in a press release.
“We are also looking at the Terms of Reference of the Commission itself and the Instruments of Appointment given to this Commissioner. We are hoping to have a substantial and comprehensive response on these matters by Friday.”
On Thursday afternoon, George issued another press release stating that a press conference would be held the following day (yesterday). Yesterday afternoon, an unsigned press release from the law firm stated: “Unfortunately, due to ongoing consultations and discussions (the Commissioner) would be unable to attend the scheduled press conference today. It will be rescheduled to a date and time to be notified and any inconvenience is regretted.” The nature of these “consultations and discussions” was not detailed.
Ali-Mohammed did not take calls yesterday. Some sources yesterday said the commissioner had last week applied for a further extension of his time away to prepare his response to the newspaper allegations. The application for extension was reportedly granted by Sir David. As such Ali-Mohammed is also not expected to participate in Monday’s sitting of the inquiry, which is scheduled to be in-camera.