UNC Senator Jayanti Lutchmedial says Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi cannot argue with her about a conflict of interest in a recent bail case since Government MP Keith Scotland has also argued against Parliament’s restriction on bail in a certain matter.
In a statement yesterday, Lutchmedial said, “Al-Rawi’s claim there’s a conflict of interest in my challenging the non-bailable nature of murder is ridiculous and amusing. It shows he has no appreciation of the complex legal issues involved in this matter …. the reckless assertion that I am trying to secure bail for murderers is not just untrue, it’s an irresponsible and dangerous misrepresentation.
“The allegation of a conflict of interest is even more astonishing given that a Government MP recently argued that the denial of bail by Parliament was illegal and unconstitutional. I haven’t heard the AG attack him, so why me?”
Lutchmedial explained: “ In the case of Danielle St Omer -v- the Attorney General, erroneously cited by the AG as one of my cases, it was, in fact, the Honourable Member of Parliament for Port-of-Spain South Mr Keith Scotland represented Ms St Omer and argued at the High Court and Court of Appeal that Parliament’s restriction on bail was unconstitutional as it was not reasonably justifiable and also violated the separation of powers.”
Lutchmedial added, “How is it that the AG doesn’t find his colleague in the Lower House to be conflicted but takes issue with me? This is hypocrisy of the highest order and the AG, in seeking to score cheap political points against me, is not only in contempt of the Court but has tread dangerously close to defaming my character.”
The UNC Senator said she takes no issue with Scotland, who she said has represented clients fearlessly in accordance with the oath taken by all attorneys.
She also noted Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s recent comments – that bail for murder is not what’s wanted in this country and he trusted that those who made decisions “would make it on the basis that the people don’t want that.”
Lutchmedial said, “The shameless attempt to pressure the judicial officer who has to rule on this matter by no less than the Prime Minister is alarming and should frighten any right-thinking citizen who believes in democracy and the rule of law. Perhaps MP Scotland needs to give the AG and the PM an urgent law lecture on the separation of powers and the sub judice rule.”
Lutchmedial is an attorney in a case brought by Akili Charles who claimed the law made by Parliament which denies bail for murder is unconstitutional and judicial officers of the court should instead have the discretion to consider bail.