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Saturday 17 August 2019
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Imbert succeeds in restricting Jwala’s evidence

Finance Minister Colm Imbert
Finance Minister Colm Imbert

THREE appellate court judges have allowed, in part, an appeal of the Minister of Finance Colm Imbert in which he complained of certain pieces of evidence being allowed by a judge in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) application by former Central Bank governor Jwala Rambarran.

The minister’s attorneys, led by Russell Martineau, SC, filed a procedural appeal complaining of the October ruling of Justice Frank Seepersad in which he allowed certain information they claim are not relevant to the case filed by Rambarran.

In an oral ruling, Justices Gregory Smith, Prakash Moosai and Andre des Vignes left in some of Rambarran’s evidence which Seepersad allowed, and overruled the judge on other parts on the basis that it was hearsay, and opinion on matters of law and international relations of which the former governor is not an expert.

Rambarran, in October 2017, received permission to pursue his judicial review claim against the minister after he was refused correspondence allegedly sent to the director of the Intergovernmental Group of Twenty-Four on International Monetary Affairs and Development (G-24), pertaining to a job offer Rambarran received in 2016.

Rambarran was fired as Central Bank governor on December 23, 2015, after his appointment was revoked by acting president Christine Kangaloo on the advice of the Cabinet.

The G-24 group, of which this country is a member, is based in Washington, DC, and Rambarran applied for a job there as a senior adviser.

Rambarran said he applied for the G-24 position, accepted an offer of employment in August, and negotiations progressed until they hit a snag on August 16, 2016. The G-24 rescinded the employment offer and Rambarran filed the FOIA application in March 2017, seeking correspondence between Imbert and the G-24 director on his proposed employment.

He has alleged there is a political vendetta against him.

Rambarran is being represented by attorneys Anand Ramlogan, SC, Douglas Bayley and Chelsea Stewart. Attorney Jason Mootoo also appeared for the minister.

In his lawsuit, Rambarran is seeking an order from the court to quash the decision of the minister to refuse disclosure of the documents he requested and order the minister to do so or declaration that the denial of the documents was illegal.

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