Chaguanas West MP, Dinesh Rambally has accused Attorney General Reginald Armour, SC, of incompetence, following the AG’s latest claim that the court documents in the lawsuit by the nine accused persons in the Vindra Naipaul-Coolman murder case had been sent to the wrong department in the ministry.
Speaking at UNC’s Sunday morning media briefing, Rambally said the excuse had reeked of the schoolboy’s excuse of “the dog ate my homework.”
He asked if the AG’s office really expected the public to believe that each department did not have a designated person to receive legal documents.
“The entire citizenry of TT, we are now going to have to foot a bill of $20 million because of the incompetence of Reginald Armour, SC.”
“You have all of these systems and to mean to tell me there was a mix-up and using language like sinister? The incompetence is at your doorstep!”
Rambally also urged the AG to publish the interim report delivered by retired justice Stanley John and ACP Pamela Schullera-Hinds on Friday.
He cited a media editorial complaining of Armour’s allegedly self-congratulatory photo-op with John’s interim report.
Rambally said since last week, the application to set aside the default judgment was filed but asked if this had been timely, given they had been told long before to apply to set aside the judgement if they had concerns.
“One of the limbs in satisfying the court that a judgement should be set aside is how quickly you move to make an application to set aside.”
He also worried about blurred lines arising if Nelson was advising the State on this matter and also set to be the State’s advocate attorney in the case. Rambally asked how could Nelson be advising the AG and then later on stand up in court as an independent advocate.
Rambally also took aim at the fact that Rolston Nelson, SC, who was retained by Armour to advise on the case when he (Armour) appointed John and Schullera-Hinds to probe the missing case file, was listed to lead the State’s legal team for application to set aside the default judgment.
Rambally questioned how Nelson could advocate the case in court after being involved at the investigative stage.
“An advocate cannot be caught up in the facts of a matter. I find it is something highly irregular. There must be demarcation,” Rambally said, as he called on Nelson to return the legal brief.
He also reiterated calls from his colleagues for Armour to disclose the fees paid to Nelson, John and Schullera-Hinds, as well as the contents of the preliminary investigation that was submitted by John and Schullera-Hinds on Friday.
“We feel very strongly about this. This is really incompetence of the highest order,” he said.