AG to file appeal today in Brent Thomas matter

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AG to file appeal today in Brent Thomas matter

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has announced that Attorney General Reginald Armour will be filing an appeal of the judgement in the Brent Thomas case today.

At yesterday’s post Cabinet media briefing in Port-of-Spain, Rowley said there have been at least half a dozen occasions when operations similar to the one involved in the issue have taken place .

He also rubbished Opposition claims about Government involvement in the matter.

“The Cabinet had absolutely nothing to do with this matter,” he emphasised.

Rowley said he was advised by Armour that the state is taking steps to appeal the matter today and is seeking an urgent hearing because the matter is very important to the population’s interest. He said the AG is acting as the state’s legal officer in advising on the issue and it isn’t a matter involving him or the Cabinet.

“I have nothing to answer for. As a matter of fact I’m waiting to hear from the police the answers to a lot of what is being said and what they have to say about their own conduct,” he said

He said he has not yet received from National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds the explanation from the Police Commissioner that he had requested. He said the Minister will have a report but at this juncture the state’s effort is at the AG’s Office in speaking to the court “on the whole basket of facts.”

Rowley reiterated that he had only learned and the issue in the media.

He said he understood why people are asking how on “such an important matte ,Government doesn’t know.” He said it is because the police are acting at arms’ length from the executive.

“But I can tell you I’ve asked similar questions myself and I’ve found out that on at least half a dozen occasions similar kinds of operations have taken place, so it’s not the first time. So if there’s some fault in it, we’ve discovered or could discover there’s a fault, but it’s not the first time.

“So to make it look as if it’s something the government is doing now in the context of this particular investigation is wrong. It’s total police work. The police would never ask the Government for clearence to do a warrant. The police has its directions where to go for advice and how to proceed against a citizen who they believe there’s information to make a person of interest, or there’s evidence to bring about an arrest or a warrant for a search,” he said.

Rowley said the situation wouldn’t jeopardise security arrangements between T&T and Barbados. He accused the UNC of having no respect for the Barbados Government and criticised Senator Wade Mark for his remarks which he said were irresponsible and inimical to T&T’s interests.

Thomas was at the centre of police investigations in 2022 and was arrested on October 5 in Barbados while in transit to Miami. He filed a lawsuit against the state and Justice Devindra Rampersad’s recently ruled that Thomas was “unlawfully abducted” when T&T and Barbados police officers detained him in Barbados.

Rampersad said the manner of Thomas’ detention was an attempt to bypass the lawful procedure of requesting his extradition and halted the criminal case against him.