Anand Ramlogan’s Freedom Law Chambers has sent a request to the Integrity Commission, demanding that the commission disclose why it did not find the Prime Minister’s Inez Gate townhouse transaction inappropriate.
The Commission’s Investigations Unit is also being asked to reopen and expand its probe into the Prime Minister’s purchase of properties at the Inez Gate Development in Tobago.
The new complaint was sent to the commission by attorney Vishaal Siewsaran on Thursday.
Commission chair, Professor Rajendra Ramlogan, said the board could only act on instruction from the Investigations Unit, which will examine the complaint and determine whether or not a new investigation is warranted.
“The unit issues an acknowledgement and tracking credentials. This is a new system to allow complainants to track their complaints, akin to a track package system,” Ramlogan explained.
Siewsaran also wants to know whether Dr Rowley deliberately undervalued his townhouse to defraud the Board of Inland Revenue (BIR) by paying less stamp duty than he would otherwise be legally required to, based on the true market value of the property.
This is due to the fact that the Prime Minister purchased a townhouse for $1.2 million, at a discounted price, when it was worth $1.68 million.
Siewsaran is demanding that the commission disclose why it did not find the transaction inappropriate.
“The finding that Dr Rowley received a ‘gift’ which he failed to disclose is self-evident. However, it is unclear why the commission would make the irrational finding that this ‘gift’ was not in any way connected ‘directly or indirectly with the performance of the duties of his Office as the Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago,” the letter said.
“The upshot of this ridiculous regulation governing the Integrity Commission ought to be put under the microscope and perhaps revisited and to see that different permutations of offences, or skirting of the Integrity Commission that have arisen to see whether that legislation ought not to be amended to give the Integrity Commission more scope in order to adjudicate on these matters,” the letter added.
This follows the commission’s revelation that it sent a note to Cabinet on February 9, 2022, to request that the IPLA be adjusted to make it an offence for officials to fail to declare assets in Form B.