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Saturday 17 August 2019
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AG on anti-terrorism bill: We could be blacklisted

ATTORNEY GENERAL Faris Al-Rawi yesterday made an appeal to the Opposition, to reconsider their position on an anti-terrorism bill, which is expected to be debated tomorrow. He told Newsday yesterday, if the bill is not passed, TT could be blacklisted by 190 countries, and face severe sanctions.

Newsday was told the Government and Opposition were at an impasse over one of the clauses of the bill, where the Attorney General is tasked with handling civil proceedings, while the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) was responsible for the criminal proceedings.

On Friday, the Opposition insisted that the DPP be given the tasks of both civil and criminal proceedings.

However Al-Rawi said the current format has been enshrined in the Constitution and was utilised in the same manner even when the Opposition was in power.

“The law creating the Anti-Terrorism Act was passed in 2005.

“Thirteen years later, the UNC is saying change that law and put the DPP to do the civil function which is constitutionally absurd.

“The UNC watched amendments in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015, where they gave their own Attorney General more powers, and which the PNM agreed to because it was the right thing to do.

“We ask what could possibly be the position that the UNC says ignore the Constitution and the history of the law and remove the AG.”

Along with being blacklisted, Al-Rawi warned if the bill collapses, TT will lose corresponding banking opportunities.

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