Lee: UNC ok with Ramesh as Paria enquiry lawyer

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

David Lee

POINTE-A-PIERRE MP David Lee told Newsday on Friday that the Opposition was satisfied with the Government’s choice of former attorney general Ramesh Maharaj as lead counsel in the upcoming commission of enquiry (CoE) into the death of four divers at a pipeline at Pointe-a-Pierre owned by Paria Fuel Trading Company Ltd.

Maharaj was named as lead counsel at Thursday’s post-Cabinet briefing by Energy Minister Stuart Young, who said the CoE would include Jamaican retired Justice of Appeal C Dennis Morrison and local subsea specialist Gregory Wilson, plus an investigator with international experience in oil and gas industry investigations, yet to be sourced.

Asked about Maharaj’s appointment, Lee, the Opposition parliamentary whip, said, “Ramesh is just the lead counsel for the commissioners. I think they (media) are making it out to be a big deal (compared) to what is. There are several other attorneys that would have been the lead counsel in the past for commissions of inquiry and they never got that prominence. I don’t understand what the prominence is now. I really don’t know.

“I got the impression he might have been the chair of the commission of enquiry. (But) he’s just the lawyer that is doing the administrative aspect, or the law firm, on behalf of the commissioners.

“We have no issue with Ramesh being the legal counsel for the commission.”

Lee hoped the CoE would proceed with alacrity and without any breaks in sittings.

“I find six months is a bit long. I hope it doesn’t drag on.”