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Wednesday 20 November 2019
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Court: Imbert must release documents to Jwala

Colm Imbert
Colm Imbert

FINANCE Minister Colm Imbert has been ordered to provide former Central Bank Governor Jwala Rambarran certain correspondence the minister allegedlly sent to the director of the Intergovernmental Group of Twenty-Four on International Monetary Affairs and Development (G-24), about a job offer Rambarran received in 2016.

Imbert has seven days in which to do so. Justice Frank Seepersad deemed his refusal to provide the documents as being against the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the public interest.

The judge made the order in the San Fernando High Court this morning.

“There exists no evidence before this court upon which the court could reasonably conclude that the requested disclosure could negatively impact upon foreign relations, undermine national security or occasion prejudice to the Government and on the factual matrix the court did not find that the conflicting considerations or the scales were evenly balanced,” the judge said.

He added, “In this society, the conduct of many elected functionaries has been less than stellar. Public trust and confidence in the various arms of state has sustained consistent assault."

Rambarran was fired as Central Bank governor on December 23, 2015, after his appointment was revoked by acting president Christine Kangaloo on the advice of the Cabinet.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. He said he accepted an offer of employment in August, and negotiations progressed until they hit a snag on August 16, 2016, when the G-24 rescinded the offer.

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.

In his ruling, the judge said, “The facts of this case are as exceptional as they are disturbing.”

Rambarran was represented by Senior Counsel Anand Ramlogan, Douglas Bayley and Jared Jagoo. The minister was represented by Russell Martineau,SC, Jason Mootoo and Romney Thomas.

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