UNC: Nelson’s indemnity an attack on democracy

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Vincent Nelson –

An attorney has accused the Government of attacking the country’s democracy regarding the circumstances of the discontinuation of corruption kickback charges against former attorney general Anand Ramlogan, SC, and former UNC senator Gerald Ramdeen.

Kiel Taklalsingh said, “As citizens of this country tasked with defending our democracy. We must expose this misfeasance at all costs. We must condemn it as strongly as we are able, and we must resist it with every fibre in our being.”

“Anything less would be to cede and surrender our democracy to the conspiratorial dictators that conceived this now very sordid and sorry affair.”

He made the comments on Sunday at the UNC’s weekly press conference at the Office of the Opposition Leader in Port of Spain.

The conference was streamed live on various social media sites, including Facebook and YouTube.

A few weeks ago, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Roger Gaspard, SC, discontinued the case.

The State’s main witness, British King’s Counsel Vincent Nelson, has said while he was willing to give evidence, he was not willing to do so until a civil-claim case against the State is concluded.

In that case, Nelson is seeking damages for an alleged breach of indemnity between himself and former attorney general Faris Al-Rawi.

In response, Taklalsingh said: “As a lawyer and a citizen of this country, that the decision of the Government to agree, or to enter into any agreement, to hide and conceal its dealings with Mr Nelson from the Parliament, is not only an assault on our Parliament. It is a dagger through the very heart of our democracy.”

The attorney added that the document, “which is being touted as an indemnity agreement,” was something unknown to law.

“It was not a legal instrument. It was an instrument of evil, designed to wreak havoc on our republic and to undermine our criminal justice system.”

Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal also commented on the issue, reminding the public that Ramlogan and Ramdeen were no longer before the court.

He accused several government officials, who he identified by name, of trying to cover the issue and shift attention.

“They are busy securing buses so that they can throw each other under the bus,” Moonilal said.

He said apart from the officials, there are “other characters behind the curtain.”

“We know that they give advice, but they are saying nothing,” Moonilal said.