AG denies wrongdoing in OPV arbitration
Monday, October 29 2012
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan has labelled as “misleading, inaccurate and false” the headline in one of the Sunday edition of one of the daily newspapers relating to the arbitration proceedings on the purchase of Offshore Patrol Vessels for the Coast Guard.
In a statement yesterday, Ramlogan said the trial of the OPV arbitration took place in May 2012 and judgment has been reserved.
“That judgment is yet to be delivered by the arbitrators in the OPV arbitration between British Aerospace Engineering (BAE) and the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. The Attorney General notes that the Opposition PNM has been predicting for some time now that the Government will lose the arbitration and be forced to pay BAE hundreds of millions of dollars,” the statement said. According to Ramlogan, Government acted “quite properly in this matter” and remained confident about the chances of success in this arbitration.
He also condemned what he viewed as a “reckless, spiteful and malicious attack” by Leader of the Opposition, Dr Keith Rowley, at the PNM’s Annual Convention against the AG and the Government on the false premise that the Government and people of Trinidad and Tobago have lost this important arbitration.
“His “we-told-you-so” attitude and predictions of doom and gloom for the Government and people of this country amount to no more than empty political rhetoric dangerously espoused by someone aspiring to be Prime Minister. For yet another time, Dr Rowley spoke without bothering to ascertain the facts,” the statement said.
The AG also said great care had been taken in the conduct in the OPV arbitration. “It is at a critical stage as judgment is expected by the end of this year. It will be improper for the Government to make any further statement on the matter whilst this arbitration is still pending. In the circumstances, further comment will only serve to aggravate or prejudice this arbitration and hence the Government is not prepared to elaborate further on this issue which is sub judice,” the statement noted.