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Dinesh Rambally

UNC MP Dinesh Rambally yesterday paid tribute to murdered court clerk Andrea Bharatt – but he said the Evidence Amendment Bill does nothing to protect women.

Rambally was replying to Attorney General Faris Al- Rawi’s launch of the Bill in Parliament yesterday.

Extending condolences to Bharatt’s family, Rambally said the nation mourned the horrific murder of a beloved child and beautiful daughter of the soil.

“To her family: you are not grieving alone – all of T&T is weeping with you . May you find solace to cope and strength to go on knowing you’re not alone,”

|”Andrea’s death has taught T&T many lessons , chief among them is that as a people we are bound by bonds of love and compassion,” Rambally said, adding that T&T was united in mourning her death.

But Rambally said this was not the time to score political points and it was sad that Al-Rawi would have sought to use the crisis of the murder to exploit grief on the issue .

He said the Bill does nothing to protect women, it leaves a lot to be desired and people should stop politicizing violence against women.

Rambally said Al-Rawi was trying to make a culture change but the AG should speak to police who don’t even have station diaries to record matters in.

Rambally said if they cannot record issues, evidence will fall apart and the situation leaves room for attorneys to query .

He noted the Bill requires many forms be filled out, but equipment for police was at a stage where they were still using photocopiers to copy photographs.

Rambally said the UNC supported tools for law enforcement – but where the bill was concerned, he queried if agencies have the tools they need ,”We just heard here today about lack of CCTV cameras,”

He cautioned Government against seeking to score points when the country’s mood was crying out ,” And the people are crying out for good law and they want to see trials (done )expeditiously,”

He said the UNC wanted good law and would support something where rights were balanced and upheld.

But noting the bill was based on aspects of law from around the world, Rambally frowned on “cut and paste” formatting. He said the bill was a “ragbag of uncertainty and confusion.”

Rambally cited several areas where he said the bill fell short, adding that it needs to be examined again .