KAMLA DEFENDS ANAND
By NEWSDAY REPORTERS Friday, October 18 2013
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BACKING KAMLA: Surrounded by placard bearing supporters, Prime Minister Kamla Persad- Bissessar met with residents of Duncan Street Port-of-Spain aft...
PRIME Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday defended Attorney General Anand Ramlogan declaring that there is “hard evidence” to support claims by Ramlogan and other speakers on the United National Congress’ (UNC) local government elections campaign platform, against Independent Liberal Party (ILP) candidates and officials, regarding criminal conduct.
Persad-Bissessar said Ramlogan continues to enjoy her full support and has not breached his duties as AG. The AG was set to have responded at the UNC’s meeting last night in Gasparillo to a newspaper article which alleged ILP interim deputy leader Anna Deonarine was cleared by Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard regarding her purchase of a Range Rover luxury SUV from the United Kingdom.
Asked following the opening of the Duncan Street Police Post, whether allegations and counter- allegations of criminal conduct between the PP and ILP had turned the local government election campaign into a guttersnipe campaign, Persad-Bissessar replied:
“I cannot speak for what the other parties are doing. For the Partnership, the allegations being made by members on our platform are based on solid evidence. We have solid evidence to back up these claims.”
Focusing on the ILP, led by her former trusted lieutenant Jack Warner, Persad-Bissessar said: “From the other platform all you get are half truths, lies and innuendos. I am seeing that coming from the green platform.”
Saying allegations against ILP candidates and officials are only being made by, “one or two speakers”, on the PP platform, Persad-Bissessar added: “Those (speakers) I say have documentary evidence on the matters they are raising.” Noting the country is in election season where, “much is said, much is done”, the Prime Minister reiterated: “With respect to allegations of criminal conduct. I am saying there is documentary evidence that candidates from the green party are persons with rap sheets, criminal records and so on...(are) on charges or already convicted or deported.”
She defended Ramlogan’s actions saying he never acted improperly by speaking on Deonarine and other ILP persons from the platform. “I am not of that view. I have seen other AGs in the past on the platform campaigning for their party. It is not a breach of his obligation or breach of his duty. You remember the famous Ramesh Lawrenenc Maharaj. He was on the platform every night, campaigning. It’s nothing,” she stated.
Of the AG taking issues (including those involving Deonarine) to the DPP, Persad-Bissessar said he did not need her permission to do so, but later added that if such permission was indeed needed, “he will always have my permission to carry anything to the DPP. If you have information for the DPP please take it.”
Dismissing calls for Ramlogan to be fired, Persad-Bissessar made it clear she has confidence in him. “It’s not the first time and it will not be the last time they will call for him to be dismissed. He is still my AG,” she declared. Asked whether it was a double standard for PP speakers to claim ILP persons were involved in criminal conduct while UNC St Joseph bye-election candidate Ian Alleyne has a matter before the court, Persad-Bissessar replied: “I am not of that view.”
Meanwhile, Newsday was told by police sources that seven candidates from a political party which is facing the polls in Monday’s local government election, indeed have police records. The names of some of the seven have already been publicly revealed on political platforms.
But yesterday, Newsday received a copy of police records which revealed that the seven have matters pending before the courts for charges including larceny, robbery with violence, indecent assault, malicious damage, throwing missiles, obtaining money under false pretense, begging by false pretense, kidnapping contrary to common law, robbery with aggravation, robbery with violence, aiding and abetting, aiding and abetting to commit an indictable offence, housebreaking and larceny and being found on enclosed premises for unlawful purpose.
Newsday was able to verify that some of the seven candidates have several matters pending in court while others had their matters heard, which were eventually dismissed.
Police also confirmed that some of the candidates are also wanted on outstanding warrants for several offences but have been able to elude arrest.
Asked by Newsday if the police intended to make any arrest on those wanted on outstanding warrants officers said that they had been making every attempt to do so with little success.