UNC questions PM, AG’s absence from Trinidad and Tobago

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

UNC political leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar. –

OPPOSITION Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has called on the Prime Minister to say if he is in secret meetings with the US firm interested in Petrotrin’s Pointe-a-Pierre refinery.

She also wants to know where Attorney General Reginald Armour, SC, went.

The Opposition Leader raised the questions of the absence of both men at a UNC meeting in Macaulay, Claxton Bay, on Wednesday.

Dr Rowley, who recently attended the ninth Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, California, stayed for routine medical testing in California, his office said on June 12.

Persad-Bissessar asked why the PM was having routine medical checks abroad rather than locally.

Instead, she suggested, he was meeting with the US-based Quanten LLC, which has been rumoured to be the preferred bidder for the refinery.

“I am being told that the company which wants to lease our refinery is in California.

“So I call on the Prime Minister to tell us whether he is in secret meetings with these electricians who wants to buy our refinery.”

She also questioned the absence of Armour, who left Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday for two days on unspecified official business. Newsday was told the AG went to the Bahamas and was expected to return on Thursday.

He is facing a motion of no confidence piloted by the Opposition in Parliament and a petition from lawyers calling on the Law Association to convene a special general meeting so the membership could vote on a similar motion to censure him.

The petition, signed by 40 lawyers, was presented to the association’s council on Wednesday, the day after the association announced an investigation into allegations of a possible breach of the code of ethics of the Legal Profession Act by the attorney general. It arises out of the State’s prosecution of a decades-old corruption case in the Miami courts relating to the Piarco Airport expansion project.

The UNC has called for Armour’s resignation or for his dismissal by the PM.

Persad-Bissessar questioned the official business he had been doing for the past two days, saying, “We have to find out where he has gone and why.”

She speculated his absence had to do with the Miami court matter from which he and the law firm representing the State in the civil forfeiture case were disqualified by the judge because of a potential conflict of interest.

Armour had represented former minister Brian Kuei Tung and his then-girlfriend Renee Pierre in criminal proceedings in TT and said he disclosed this to the US firm, Sequor Law, which was hired to represent TT in the matter in Miami.

The decision has since been appealed. Armour has chosen to remain silent on it.

But, Persad-Bissessar speculated, “They have filed an appeal in the Florida court, it is true, and I want to make it very clear my problem is not the appeal and the disqualification. That is bad enough. It’s the lies. I don’t want us to lose sight of that.”

She has called on the US authorities to investigate whether Armour committed a felony by lying under oath.

“I am told that in filing of the appeal, the procedural rules are that you file other documents and affidavits and so on.

“Since he, Armour, is disqualified, and since any continuing involvement would really go in breach, again, of the professional rules, he gone.

“They have sent him out (of the country) and put Stuart Young to act so you have a different AG to put in the (court) papers.

“What a tangled web we weave when we first set out to deceive – and that’s what this Government is about: deception and corruption and incompetence.”