Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi addresses members of the media at yesterday’s press conference

There’s been extensive progress on proposed law to regularise the public transport system including “PH” and “H “ taxis, maxis and Public Transport Service Corporation network – but all sides in Parliament must support laws to protect the public against the “monsters” walking around T&T.

Attorney General Faris Al- Rawi said so yesterday as the body of 23 year old court clerk Andrea Bharatt was found – down a precipice in the Heights of Aripo . Bharatt disappeared January 29 after getting into a vehicle in Arima . It was later found the car carried false “H” license plates.

Al- Rawi said, “As as a human being, father, brother and uncle, I cannot imagine the grief that has befallen this family and the torture they must be in . I refuse to be one of those politicians who profit on bad news by turning up to be counted among people who are now expressing care and concerns.”

He said the people and the Prime Minister had allowed him function to help in situations like this one and in the discharge of his duties for Bharatt , murdered teenage Ashanti Riley and many others like them, he’s had the responsibility to present law that which could have lent some assistance in the current issue:

“Monsters are capable of walking among us in society when people don’t try to fix the system. We’ve presented a lot of work to deal with the criminal justice system but it’s incumbent for all to work and pass it. It’s time for the monsters to be unmasked and for all elements of society to understand we must work together,”

After Riley’s murder last December, Prime Minister Keith Rowley mandated Government to formulate law to regulate “PH” drivers.

Al- Rawi said there’s been extensive progress on formulation of proposals and consultations will have to be done on them.

The proposed system will regulate not only “PH” drivers, but all transport for hire – whether part time or full time “H” taxis and maxi taxis, PTSC’s system and chequered band taxis.

It also establishes a maxi taxi system for rural areas . The system also involves radio frequency license plates which will identify a driver, on what route the vehicle is supposed to be and its location at any point.

Al- Rawi said bills brought to Parliament for the public good require the support of both Government and Opposition – and the latter had refused to support several which could have contributed to preventing crimes such what befell Bharatt.

“ It’s grossly disrespectful to witness UNC’s Khadijah Ameen in a candlelight vigil for the victim when she could have done her part towards passing laws to protect people including this young girl and everyone else,” he said.

Among bills which he said the Opposition didn’t support and which could have contributed to preventing Bharatt’s kidnap and murder were the 2017 Bail Bill , the 2017 Kidnap Bill, the proposal for further bail restriction, an Evidence Bill which would have allowed people to testify if they were afraid to – and the Evidence Amendment Bill being debated in Parliament today and designed to secure convictions of perpetrators.

He also noted that proposals in the Sex Offenders Registry Legislation was another element that could have unmasked monsters . “But civil society objected to proposals saying we were going too far too fast ,”