Jack: I did not break the law
Wednesday, July 4 2012
NATIONAL Security Minister Jack Warner yesterday rejected claims from his former political colleague Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj SC that he broke the law when he marched with Maharaj when they were in Opposition to protest against plans by the former PNM government to build an aluminium smelter in La Brea.
In a brief statement issued by his communications adviser Francis Joseph, Warner responded to a statement which Maharaj issued after Warner had an interview with a television station yesterday.
“Regrettably, I do not have the time to respond in as lengthy a document as the learned Counsel for, to me, nothing useful can come from such an exercise,” Warner said.
Warner declared that he stood by the statement he made during his television interview and referred to a High Court judgment dated April 12, 2012 on a matter between Tanya and Curtis Gayadeen and the Attorney General.
The Gayadeens were the owners of a bar which was said to be obstructing the extension of the Churchill Roosevelt Highway when Warner was Works Minister.
Stating he has been in possession of this document since he was Works and Infrastructure Minister, Warner said, “It is informative to note that my walking with my present Government colleagues against the smelter then was never an unlawful act.”
In a statement issued from his law chambers earlier in the day, Maharaj claimed Warner “misrepresented that decisions he made as Minister of Works which were believed to be lawful were carried out by him notwithstanding a challenge made in court by persons to their illegality.”
Citing the actions Warner took against the highway bar operated by the Gayadeens as an example, Maharaj claimed Warner has used these “untrue allegations to give the impression that the proposed challenge in court by the Highway Re-Route Movement of the Debe to Mon Desir section of the (Point Fortin) highway has no merits and is frivolous.”
Maharaj said, “it is significant and curious that a Minister in Cabinet votes to approve millions of dollars in legal fees to retain lawyers for the State to fight against lawyers who stand up for the rights of poor people.” He said Warner marched with him to protest against the PNM’s aluminium smelter and rapid rail projects.