AG confirms change in State’s lawyers in Vincent Nelson’s case

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Douglas Mendes, SC –

ATTORNEY General Reginald Armour, SC, has thanked senior counsel Gilbert Peterson and Douglas Mendes for the “skill, professionalism and value” which they brought in defending the $96 million claim by King’s Counsel Vincent Nelson.

In a statement Tuesday night, Armour confirmed the two returned their briefs as lead counsel in for the State. He said they communicated their decision to him on Tuesday and after earlier consultation. Armour also said it was his own thinking that in the interest of justice it was appropriate and prudent to retain other lead counsel, unconnected with the matter.

Both men were instrumental in the drafting of the alleged indemnity agreement between Nelson and former AG Faris Al-Rawi for the Government.

He reminded that on October 10 – when the criminal case against former AG Anand Ramlogan, SC, and ex-UNC senator Gerald Ramdeen was withdrawn by the Director of Public Prosecutions – he said he would take the advice of local and foreign senior and King’s Counsel.

He also confirmed King’s Counsel Kennedy Talbot was retained to take over the defence for the State.

“He will be assuming the leadership of an exceptionally strong defence and counter-claim in these proceedings. I look forward to his rendering of advice to men for the benefit of Trinidad and Tobago in these and related matters in ensuring this Republic’s continued adherence to the rule of law, due process and the protection of the law.”

The matter, assigned to Justice Jacqueline Wilson, was heard on Tuesday morning and has been adjourned to December 12, at which time dates are likely to be set for managing the case and the hearing of an application filed by Nelson to have the file unsealed.