OROPOUCHE East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal has called for former PNM attorney general John Jeremie to be investigated for misbehaviour in public office and attempting to pervert the course of justice in one of the Piarco scandal matters.
Speaking at a UNC virtual report hosted on Monday night, Moonilal sought to substantiate his call with reference to published excerpts of e-mail exchanges between Jeremie and then director of public prosecutions (DPP) Geoffrey Henderson in late 2006 and early 2007. Moonilal said the exchanges warranted an investigation into whether Jeremie attempted to illegally influence the prosecutions of political opponents of his party at that time.
Moonilal also referred to the recent ruling of the Privy Council in the Piarco 1 matter which spoke of apparent political bias on the part of a member of the judiciary.
Claiming that political interference is continuing under the present PNM administration, Moonilal also called for the Anti-Corruption Investigation Bureau (ACIB) to investigate the Prime Minister, President Paula-Mae Weekes and former members of the Police Service Commission (PSC) over last year’s withdrawal of a merit list for the selection of a police commissioner.
Moonilal pointed to an acknowledgement by acting Commissioner of Police Mc Donald Jacob that numerous letters from Senator David Nakhid asking for an investigation into Dr Rowley’s role in the merit list withdrawal had been passed on to the ACIB.
On Tuesday, Jacob said the ACIB would determine whether or not Nakhid's letters or their contents merited the start of an investigation.
That withdrawn merit list, which led to the collapse of the PSC, had placed former CoP Gary Griffith at the top.
On Monday night, Moonilal said, “It is not Rowley alone, it is the former members of the PSC, Bliss 'where is the list' Seepersad, the President by allowing her office to be manipulated.
“The police has to investigate all of them. They must interview all the actors and actresses in this sordid matter.”
Moonilal said, as has been done in the past, Rowley could have waited until the matter came to the Parliament to reject Griffith, but Moonilal accused Rowley of interfering with the process instead.
On the excerpts of e-mail exchanges between Jeremie and Henderson published in Sunday's Express, Moonilal noted that neither of the two had denied that the exchanges took place.
He said, “Today I want to remind the national community that for a criminal offence called misbehaviour in public officer there is no statute of limitations.
“In light of the report carried in the newspaper, I am saying there is enough evidence to suggest that John Jeremie should be investigated for misbehaviour in public office and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
He said it would be easy for the former DPP, now a judge in the Court of Appeal, to be contacted and get a statement from him.
“As a judicial officer, he would do all in his power to make sure that such a brazen attempt to interfere with criminal prosecution does not go unpunished.
“Confidence in the administration of justice demands that action be taken against any politician who uses his office for gain, whether financial or political.
“Was Jeremie driven by financial or political gain? Was he driven by money or malice? That is a matter for the police, and the police must investigate these serious allegations made by former DPP Henderson.”