Senior Counsel, Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, says the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Roger Gaspard is not to blame in the matter involving the new office on Park Street in Port of Spain.
During the Standing Finance Committee of Parliament meeting after the 2024 Budget, it was disclosed by Attorney General Reginald Armour, SC, that $55 million was paid in rental fees for the building since 2019, but the DPP nor his staff ever moved in.
Following the revelation, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley also criticised the DPP for not occupying the building.
However, in a statement on the matter today, Senior Counsel Maharaj says, “The DPP did not have any input in the decision made by the government to enter into the rental agreement of the building which the government entered into in 2019.”
According to Maharaj, the DPP also did not have any input in the decision of the government to pay any rentals for that building after the tenancy expired, nor did the DPP have any input in the decision made after the lease rental had expired to consider renewing the lease rental.
He says the reason the DPP did not occupy the building was because of the contents of several Special Branch Reports and the non-implementation fully of the recommendations contained in those Reports because if the DPP and his staff occupied the building in those circumstances it would have put their lives at huge risk.