Collapse of Ramlogan/Ramdeen case ‘a fiasco’, ‘mockery of justice system’—legal expert
‘A mockery of the justice system’ is how attorney-at-law Martin George is describing the decision to discontinue the corruption charges case against former Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, SC, and former Opposition Senator Gerald Ramdeen.
The legal fee kickback case against the men collapsed after Jamaica-born British King’s Counsel Vincent Nelson declined to begin his testimony in the duo’s preliminary inquiry.
“When you gave him these guarantees and these immunities, you ought to have ensured that whatever deal you were making was an airtight and a watertight deal that would guarantee that you would get your end,” Martin George points out.
The attorney-at-law says what has emerged is a ludicrous scenario in which various arms of the State seemed to be doing their own thing, each of whom was completely unaware of what the other was doing.
According to Martin George, chaos was the result.
“I don’t know what jurisdiction he had in terms of what ultimately would be a criminal prosecution or a criminal matter, but it appears that the then-sitting Attorney General went into his own deal with Mr Nelson, which the DPP publicly disavowed and indicated that he had no knowledge of it. He disavowed all knowledge of it,” the attorney-at-law noted.
“If you felt you had enough evidence to charge, then why were you engaging in these machinations with Mr Nelson in the first place?” he added.
George says this incident reflects poorly on the Office of the Attorney General and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) specifically, and Trinidad and Tobago in general.
“Basically, Vincent Nelson is laughing at all of Trinidad and Tobago. He has turned the nation into a laughingstock, and it is the fault of our high officials who have bungled, fumbled and absolutely messed this up from the get-go,” he observed.
Martin George points to the embarrassment that the country currently faces, as well as the key persons involved in the case.
“Both Mr Ramlogan and Mr Ramdeen were charged, handcuffed and publicly portrayed as villains and criminals and nefarious characters. That is the image that was put out there when they were charged. We’re not talking about a situation in which the process was followed, and a magistrate or judge ruled on the case, and they were found not guilty, or they were set free or discharged after having gone through the process,” George stated.
“What’s happened is the one who gave instructions to lay the charges went to the court basically to give a mea culpa,” he said, “to say, ‘My star witness has suddenly gone dumb and he is not speaking, therefore I am withdrawing the case’.”
The attorney-at-law maintains what has occurred is a travesty of justice for all involved, including the general public. He says they have had their faith and confidence in the country’s judicial system shattered, once again, and have been left feeling that high officeholders are never held to account.