WEST READY TO DEFEND WITNESS STATEMENT, SAYS STATEMENT A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD
The matter involving Attorney General Anand Ramlogan and newly-appointed Police Complaints Authority Director David West continues to draw mixed reaction.
A newspaper article on Sunday implied that PCA Director David West was asked by the Attorney General to withdraw his statement in hopes of being selected for the PCA position.
However, responding to a newspaper article, AG Ramlogan denied that he asked the PCA Director to withdraw his witness statement in the defamation case filed against Opposition Leader Dr. Keith Rowley before Mr. West’s appointment.
“I wish to categorically reject and deny the absurd allegation that I asked PCA Chairman David West to withdraw his witness statement during a telephone conversation which allegedly took place on October 31st, 2014 or at any time thereafter. I was only aware that Mr West had filed a witness statement in this case when it was served on my Attorneys on December 22nd, 2014. The said witness statement had in fact been filed in court a mere two days before. Therefore, it is impossible for me to have asked Mr West on October 31, 2014 to withdraw a witness statement which only came into existence almost two months later. Additionally, I could not have possibly asked Mr West to not give evidence against me in favour of Dr Rowley’s defence in exchange for him being appointed Chairman of the PCA, as this appointment is made by the President of the country and not the AG.”
The defamation lawsuit arose from statements the AG claimed Opposition Leader Dr. Rowley made during a News Conference on November 8th, 2011 in relation to ordering the extradition of Steve Ferguson and Ishwar Galbaransingh arising out of the Piarco Airport Enquiry.
Speaking to C News on Monday, PCA Director David West said while he does not want to comment on the matter, he is ready to defend his statement that he witnessed a matter between AG Ramlogan and the Opposition Leader in court.
“I filed my witness statement on the 27th of June 2014 and I gave it to my Attorneys. That was filed on December 22nd and the contents of the witness statement, they are now a matter of public record and during that time frame, between June and December, anybody who had an interest in the matter would have been privy to the list of witnesses for Dr. Rowley.”
Attorney at Law Martin George weighed in on the matter on Monday on CTV’s Good Morning Trinidad & Tobago saying that it is not that easy to sway the PCA Chairman because such an appointment is done with the approval of both the Government and Opposition.
Mr. George noted however that a negative impression is given to the public regarding the administration of justice.
“It’s really hard to call upon Mr. West to come out and give any public statement either confirming or denying. The AG has given his version so it puts everybody in a very difficult and uncomfortable scenario but the overall concern is what it does for the impression of the public in terms of the administration of justice and this follows on the imbroglio with the email fiasco in the emailgate case. That’s the irony of it.”