Kamla writes to CJ – CLEAR AIR ON MYSTERY FILE
OPPOSITION Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has written to Chief Justice Ivor Archie asking for the Judiciary to make a statement on the "disappeared-now-reappeared" Vindra Naipaul-Coolman file, which led to the State failing to defend a malicious prosecution case and subsequently being ordered to pay $20 million to nine men freed of murdering Naipaul-Coolman.
She also called on Attorney General Reginald Armour, SC, to report the matter to the police for investigation.
While the UNC was hosting its Monday Night Report, the Government issued a 9 pm press release saying the file had since resurfaced, and now forms part of the body of evidence being used by retired Appeal Court judge Stanley John to investigate the State's failure to defend the malicious prosecution case.
Speaking at the forum in Debe, Persad-Bissessar said she wrote to Archie since court records showed that Justice Karen Reid-Ballantyne, before being appointed to the bench, appeared for the Attorney General at the assessment stage in November 2021, before Master Martha Alexander.
Reid-Ballantye was assistant Solicitor General at the time. She was appointed to the bench in December.
Reading from her letter to Archie, Persad-Bissessar said, "We do not think it necessary to escalate the matter into a formal complaint to the Judicial and Legal Service Commission, as we are confident of your favourable and prompt response.
"The Judiciary and the learned judge should therefore be careful that they do not in any way participate in legitimising this politically-convenient investigation that is designed to (be) damage control for the Government.
“As an independent institution of the State, the judiciary must issue a statement of its own volition to ensure that there is no breach in the institution of the separation of powers that underpins the relationship between the executive and the judicial arm of the state. Do not participate in that sham cover-up being led by those two tarnished political..."
Persad-Bissessar said it was possible the State can be sued as a result of what has transpired so far.
“It is likely there may be litigation arising out of this ill-conceived, ill-advised and ill-fated investigation by aggrieved persons whom Government may want to throw under the bus, in an attempt to deflect attention from the negative shortcomings and leadership failures of the AG.”
She also scoffed at investigations initiated by AG Reginald Armour, SC, last week.
The Opposition Leader questioned the hiring of retired justices John – to investigate the State's failure to defend the malicious prosecution lawsuit – and Rolston Nelson, SC, to advise the AG on the State's next move, as it relates to possibly having the default judgment set aside and the assessment appealed.
She asked why the matter of the missing file wasn't reported to the police.
"A valuable $20 million file missing. Up to today, have you ever reported it to the police?
"No, you bring in your two friends (John and Nelson) to come and do damage control, to whitewash what may be the truth, to sanitise. We already know the outcome of that investigation.
"If you want a real investigation report it to the police," she said.
“We have a recently-appointed woman Commissioner of Police: let her investigate.
"I call on the police to get involved in this investigation. Don’t leave it to the two boys you all are paying to write the story, and the longer they take, is more pay (for them).
"The police already get paid to investigate things that go missing, so get the police on board right away!”
"Kamla writes to CJ – CLEAR AIR ON MYSTERY FILE"