Nelson to apply for unsealing of indemnity case – LET THE PUBLIC KNOW

Jamaican-born Queen's Counsel Vincent Nelson
Jamaican-born Queen's Counsel Vincent Nelson

KING’S Counsel Vincent Nelson wants his civil claim against the Attorney General for an alleged breach of an indemnity agreement with the Government unsealed.

On Tuesday, Nelson’s attorney Shankar Bidaisee wrote to one of the State’s attorneys, Tenille Ramkissoon, saying he intends to apply for an order to unseal the claim so its contents can be made public.

The letter, a copy of which was sent to Newsday, sets out shocking and explosive claims now being made by Nelson, including references to the Office of the President and the Mercy Committee.

On Monday, Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard, SC, announced the State was dropping the charges against former attorney general Anand Ramlogan, SC, and ex-UNC senator Gerald Ramdeen.

DPP Roger Gaspard -

He said Nelson was not willing to give evidence in that matter, until his claim for breach of the alleged indemnity agreement came to an end.

Bidaisee wrote, “Our client has since taken note of the reported comments of the DPP and, having taken advice, intends to apply for an order to unseal the matter so that the contents thereof can be made available to the public.”

He said Nelson felt the matter should be made public because “transparency and accountability require that the public be made aware of the very serious allegations that have been made against persons holding public office.”

Nelson's attorney said the claim arose out of the conduct of former attorney general Faris Al-Rawi, “in entering into an indemnity agreement on behalf of the Government and agreeing to bind same to the terms of the said agreement,” and was based on “confirmation by Mr Al-Rawi that it was the conduct of Honourable Minister Stuart Young that has resulted in a substantial breach of the terms of the indemnity.”

The letter also says the allegations set out in Nelson’s claim touch and concern the Office of the President, the Office of the DPP, the Cabinet and the Mercy Committee.

“At paragraph 22 of the amended defence filed in these proceedings, it was pleaded that the actions of Mr Al-Rawi, as Attorney General, in entering into the indemnity agreement was in conflict with public policy,” and “taxpayers of this country are exposed to the payment of substantial damages claimed by our client in the event that the claim is successful,” Bidaisee said.

Former Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi. -

The attorney added that as “guardian of the public interest,” the Office of the Attorney General should consent to the discharge of the sealing order, so the contents of Nelson's claim can be made public.

“The defendant’s consent will obviate the risk of a contested application so that the appropriate order may be made in chambers without a hearing by Her Ladyship.”

Nelson’s claim has been assigned to Justice Jacqueline Wilson and he is seeking £12,163,460 in damages for the alleged breach of indemnity.

On Monday, AG Reginald Armour, SC, said Nelson is claiming the State should indemnify him for the $2.25 million fine ordered by the High Court when he was sentenced in March 2020.

Attorney General Reginald Armour, SC. -

He said the discontinuance of the criminal case against Ramlogan and Ramdeen was surprising because Nelson had entered into a plea agreement with the DPP to give evidence against Ramlogan and Ramdeen "in exchange for a recommendation by the director to the High Court, that Nelson be given a non-custodial sentence."

Armour also said Nelson has not, to date, recanted any admission of wrongdoing he made in the criminal proceedings.

“As Attorney General, I wish to assure the people of this country that I will consider every available avenue to protect the public’s interests, including (but not limited to) civil proceedings to recover any possible proceeds of the crimes allegedly committed by Messrs Ramlogan and Ramdeen and disciplinary proceedings before the disciplinary committee of the legal profession (Law Association of TT)."


"Nelson to apply for unsealing of indemnity case – LET THE PUBLIC KNOW"

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