Hosein advises AG against resurrecting bail bill

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Barataria/San Juan MP Saddam Hosein. –

THE rejected bail bill which Attorney General Reginald Armour, SC, is seeking to resurrect is not the answer to controlling spiralling crime, says Barataria/San Juan MP Saddam Hosein.

“What we need is a working minister of national security, a working commissioner of police and a competent prime minister.”

Hosein was speaking at Monday night’s United National Congress (UNC) virtual report meeting and was responding to statements by the AG that a new bail bill is being framed, in consultation with criminologists, to ensure its passage when he takes it back to the Parliament.

Independent and UNC senators rejected the bill when it was taken to the Senate in July.

During an interview on TTT over the weekend, Armour admitted insufficient consultations were done, and this time around he wants the process to be more engaging with both the opposition and independent senators.

Hosein rejected the idea.

“While this bail bill was law, 450 of our citizens died. While this bail bill was law, we lost Andrea Bharath. While this bail bill was law, we lost Ashanti Riley. The bail bill simply does not work.”

On the issue of staffing shortage at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Armour also spoke about the hiring of 20 new state prosecutors during his interview.

“I hear the AG boasting we hire 20 prosecutors. Get real, you spent over $400 billion and come to boast you hire 20 prosecutors?

“Where are you going to put them?” Hosein asked, referring to his brief stay at the DPP’s office when he had to share a small cubicle with three prosecutors.

The opposition MP said while staffing is important, space constraints must also be addressed.

He said buildings were being rented to accommodate the Office of the DPP at Park Street, Port of Spain; Gulf City Mall, San Fernando; and Gulf City Mall, Tobago, “and up to now you cannot relocate these offices there.

“I am beyond tired of the PNM’s bag of tricks. I am sick of hearing the PNM party spewing nonsense about how the country is getting better when indeed things are getting worse.

“On the eve of the 60th anniversary of Independence, when this country should have been proud to boast that crime is down, food prices are low, the cost of living is affordable, and of a technology-based government system and national unity, the alternative is the reality.

“Instead, the PNM has given us a runaway crime situation, a population living pay check to pay check and a divided nation.”

Amidst a public outcry for safety, “The issue of national security has fallen on deaf ears as the crime rate continues to raise just like the price of flour.

“Safety is a right every citizen should be afforded despite socio-economic status. People want to feel safe. People are locked up in their homes because they are afraid of being gunned down.

“Every year, billions are allocated to fund the protective services, yet the murder toll cannot seem to go down. Business owners operate in fear, homeowners spend thousands on home security systems and or fashion their houses with impenetrable burglar proofing.

“We have the worst minister of national security – Fitzgerald Hinds – in the history of this country.

“Fitzgerald Hinds you need to go. You have no plans to fight crime.”