Kamla Persad claims AG Armour tried to mislead country on Piarco matter

Kamla Persad Bissessar- Leader of Opposition of Trinidad and Tobago, took issue with alleged statements by Armour on the issue and called on the Law Association to investigate the matter for alleged breach of the Professional Code of Conduct for attorneys. 

Kamla Persad claims AG Armour tried to mislead country on Piarco matter
Kamla Persad claims AG Armour tried to mislead country on Piarco matter

Trinidad and Tobago: Kamla Persad Bissessar- Leader of Opposition of Trinidad and Tobago, took issue with alleged statements by Armour on the issue and called on the Law Association to investigate the matter for alleged breach of the Professional Code of Conduct for attorneys. 

Attorney General Reginald Armour’disqualification by Miami courts from civil proceedings concerning matters arising from alleged fraud and corruption in the Piarco International Airport project has placed T&T in a constitutional crisis, says UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who’s questioned who will now represent the country’s interests.

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The civil proceedings concerned charges arising from alleged fraud and corruption in the Piarco Airport project. However, it’s been reported that Armour had represented former UNC finance minister Brian Kuei Tung in the criminal proceedings surrounding allegations of fraud and corruption in the Piarco Aiport’s construction.

In April, Kuei Tung and another defendant, Steve Ferguson, filed to seek Armour’s disqualification from the civil proceedings in Miami, citing conflict of interest since he’d represented Kuei Tung in the criminal proceedings issue.

Persad-Bissessar last night said after a person did such defence, prosecution as AG on T&T’s behalf can’t be done. She said the US judge last month disqualified Armour from the civil proceedings case and he didn’t remove himself, as he suggested in a news release on the issue over the weekend.

Saying she held no brief for anyone, Persad-Bissessar posed questions to Armour on if he was involved in the case before, how he could prosecute it now and whether there was disclosure to the Prime Minister – or query by him – before he was appointed AG.

Persad-Bissessar, displaying what she said were records from the Florida court, questioned if “perjury” had occurred with alleged statements that he was only a “note-taker” in the previous matter and had “recused himself.”

She read documents alleging written submissions were made by “Reginald Armour SC” in January 2005. She also listed preliminary inquiries in 2004, in which he was involved.

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“And you said you were a junior note-taker – shame!”

She said the AG was now conflicted and that left T&T in a constitutional crisis, since only the AG could bring civil proceedings.

“If he’s disqualified, who will prosecute in T&T’s name? The AG’s Office is handicapped, as the court is saying he cannot represent T&T as he’s conflicted,” Persad-Bissessar said.

She said it was also wrong to say former AG Faris Al-Rawi could be a client representative managing any civil matter, since his ministerial position in the Gazette gives him no power for this.

She questioned the extent of Armour’s involvement in the matter and, citing statements Armour allegedly made, questioned if Armour breached the professional Code of Conduct of attorneys. Based on her view, Persad-Bissessar said, Armour “must go now!”

“Faris boy, you looking like a saint now,” she quipped.

Persad-Bissessar told supporters not to be distracted by those who ridicule them. She said the People’s National Movement bullied reporters, claiming UNC got calls from reporters who said they were being forced to ask her queries because their “anti-UNC, pro-PNM bosses” forced them to and had no choice due to “blackmail” and they “couldn’t find a next job.” She claimed articles were “edited” to cut fair comments and she’d received a lot of “offensive” queries for her birthday but didn’t answer. Persad-Bissessar claimed if someone could attack the UNC they got the front page.

Those seeking posts in UNC’s June 26 Natex election also pledged support to Persad-Bissessar during the meeting, including UNC’s Roodal Moonilal, David Lee and Jearlean John, who are all contesting for deputy leader.

Moonilal addressed Persad-Bissessar as “Political Leader, today, tomorrow, June 26 …”

Lee slammed economist Marla Dukheran’s criticism of Persad-Bissessar’s “slave master” remarks, saying Dukheran, who lives in Barbados, should, “…Stay there!”

John lauded Persad-Bissessar’s record, adding, “KPB, destiny lies in the people’s hands.”