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Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi, makes a statement on the expenditure by the Office of the Attorney General and the Ministry of Legal Affairs for the period September 2015 to June 2021. during the sitting of Parliament, yesterday.

Not so, Kamla.

Attorney General Faris Al- Rawi yesterday accused Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar and UNC MP Rudy Indarsingh of being in contempt of Parliament by falsely claiming there was a list of amendments on the Tobago bills which were “gutted” by Government.

Opposition MPs Saddam Hosein and Indarsingh were ordered to leave the Parliament Chamber after aiming a fusillade of queries at Al-Rawi during his statement.

Hosein queried several points of order on Al-Rawi’s statement but was overruled and was told to take his seat.

When he insisted, House Speaker Bridgid Annisette -George instructed him to leave for the rest of the day, summoning the Parliament’s marshall to ensure he did.

In a subsequent statement, Hosein said, “In the most recent episode of the trampling of our democracy, I was unjustly ejected from the House for raising legitimate concerns provided for in the Standing Orders. These concerns relate to whether the Attorney General could have abused his privilege as Member of the House to anticipate matters that are yet to be deliberated at the Committee stage for the Tobago Bills. It’s my view that he cannot. ”

PNM MPs accused UNC MPs of “having no behaviour.”

Indarsingh protested Government was “using insulting language.”

He was asked to stand and withdraw his outburst. He said he didn’t hear what she said and was then told to leave the chamber also.

Al Rawi, meanwhile, referred to Persad- Bissessar’s recent press conference statements.

He claimed she said she had in her possession a list of amendments on the Tobago Autonomy bills and she claimed Government had effectively ‘gutted’ the bills by removing critically essential clauses using a simple majority vote.

He said Indarsingh repeated her claims also.

He said this was falsification, deliberate and untruthful which was offensive and contemptuous to Parliament

“As Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, with responsibility for drafting of laws and amendments to be brought before this House I can state, without contradiction, that no amendments mirroring anything purported by the Leader of the Opposition was ever presented to Cabinet, circulated in Parliament and laid before Parliament’s Committee of the whole (House of Representative) and, certainly, no amendments of the type alleged by the Member were raised or discussed in the House’s Committee.”

Al- Rawi insisted Persad-Bissessar and Indarsingh “deliberately falsified Parliament’s record by saying submissions were made.”

He repeated no such amendments were sent to the House committee and both were in contempt of Parliament.

He said Parliament Secretariat officials indicated the Parliament wasn’t in receipt of any such amendments.

He said Parliament’s laws– in the treatise of experts Erskine May– establishes that any person who falsifies, alters or misrepresents Parliament’s records commits the offence of contempt.

”The Member for Siparia is a long-standing Member of Parliament …. now serving as the constitutionally recognised Opposition Opposition. Her press conference statements stand as a contemptuous blot on our Westminster Parliamentary democracy,’’ he said.