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Thursday 18 July 2019
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Don’t repeat UNC mistake with Bail Bill

Hosein to Govt

Senator Saddam 
Hosein PHOTO BY ROGER JACOB
Senator Saddam Hosein PHOTO BY ROGER JACOB

OPPOSITION Senator Saddam Hosein has urged the Government to withdraw the Bail (Amendment) Bill and not repeat the error of the previous UNC administration with the previous, similar bill.

“We (the UNC) have tried this legislation as a government with good intentions but we did not reap the rewards that we expected with regards to the implementation of this legislation. And I ask the Government to take heed. And I ask the Government not to repeat an error that was probably made in the past. I ask the Government to come here with good sense.”

He was contributing to debate on the bill in the Senate yesterday.

“The Attorney General (who piloted the bill) will say...we are not going to support this. And from the outset we are going to say that we are not going to support this arbitrary, capricious, dangerous matter that is in violation of our Constitution. No support for this.”

He said the Government will belittle the Opposition for not supporting the bill and say they are the cause of crime. “They playing politics with crime.”

Hosein recalled in 2016 then opposition leader Dr Keith Rowley said he would not support that previous version of the bill and it was “wasting time.”

“And I am going to say the same thing–that this PNM Government has come to the Parliament to waste the people’s time. Because when this bill doesn’t pass you know what they going to do? They going on a public campaign to blame the UNC and blame Kamla as always. That’s their mantra. That’s what they hope to achieve in order to go back into government.”

He said the law was very arbitrary and once a police officer says an accused had a firearm the magistrate will have to deny bail for 120 days. Hosein said with “recent circumstances” on the issue of evidence in the courts it would be dangerous to gave the police this power at this time.

He said there was a trend of legislation by the Government to curtail the rights of citizens and growing authoritative dictatorship. “It is the death of the democracy of TT.”

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