AG: Attorney earned $4m from State in 9 months

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Fyard Hosein, SC, one of the lawyers representing the interests of the State in the Privy Council matter. FILE PHOTO –

ATTORNEY-AT-LAW Fyard Hosein, SC, earned $4,306,500 in legal fees paid by the State for work done from June 19, 2021-March 31, 2022, Attorney General Reginald Armour, SC, has said.

He was replying to a listed question by opposition Senator Wade Mark in the Senate on Tuesday.

Armour said the legal matters done by Hosein included legally complex cases and landmark rulings. Hosein had worked on 20 legal matters, the AG added.

Mark asked for a description of the cases.

Armour replied that he was unable to give such details, as many cases were still before the law courts and so were sub judice.

In a separate question, Mark asked how much the State had spent on overseas travel for the Attorney General (Faris Al-Rawi and then Armour) and anyone accompanying him, including hotel and living costs from May 1, 2019-September 15, 2022.

Armour said Al-Rawi had made five overseas trips and he had made one.

He said Al-Rawi had visited Florida from June 16-21, 2019, with Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Joan Honore-Paul, plus the Anti Terrorism Unit head and Anti-Money Laundering Unit deputy chairman (in the Office of the AG) Vyana Sharma, to attend a meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The cost was $117,051.

From September 2-4, 2019 Al-Rawi went to Florida, with Honore-Paul, Sharma and Deputy Chief Parliamentary Counsel Ida Eversley for a separate FATF meeting. The cost was $78,509.

Al-Rawi went to Paris from October 13-22, 2019, with Sharma and Eversley for a FATF meeting (involving mutual evaluation) at a cost of $265,723.

“The purpose of that trip was to attend FATF’s plenary mandatory face-to-face meetings by which Trinidad and Tobago was required to subject itself to interrogation of the ICRG (International Cooperation Review Group, a unit within FATF) and full FATF plenary with respect to the joint group’s report which was above mentioned.”

The AG said Al-Rawi went to Paris from February 16-21, 2020, with Honore-Paul and Sharma for a FATF meeting where Al-Rawi delivered TT’s position after a fifth round of mutual evaluation held in TT.

“TT was consequently removed from FATF’s grey list and so is no longer subject to active monitoring by FATF.”

The trip cost $214,926.

Al-Rawi went to the Netherlands and Belgium from November 13-25, 2021, said Armour, but he ran out of time to complete the answer or to state details of his own overseas trip as AG. He promised to circulate his statement in writing.

Mark asked if it was normal for a deputy DPP to accompany an AG overseas.

The AG replied that was determined by the necessity of the circumstances of the consultation to be undertaken.

Mark pressed. Armour said it was done as the circumstances warranted.

Mark, in a separate question, asked what factors determined whether state counsel attended the Privy Council in person or virtually.

Armour said it was decided on a case-by-case basis, and listed the determinants.

“These factors include the complexity and novelty of cases before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, the urgency of the matters, the implication the matter(s) will have on the public interest, whether a full or extended committee of the judicial committee is scheduled to hear the matter(s), whether local TT counsel are involved/required, pre-trial and trial arrangements, and the advice of TT’s UK solicitors in all of the circumstances.”