By Raffique Shah
April 01, 2017
Permit me to quote from a column I wrote in June last year. It is the first time I’m taking this liberty, but I feel compelled to so do, and I think readers will understand why as I proceed.
I wrote then, “When constitutionally-independent institutions in the country seem to be collapsing…and when the law proves to be the proverbial ass, then, Trinidad and Tobago, we have a problem…a very serious problem.
Continue reading ‘Oh, what a country!’
By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 27, 2016
I am an old timer. I believe integrity in public life predates the establishment of the Integrity Committee. My mother, born in 1909, used to say: “When ah dead, if anybody say ah owe dem any money, tell dem dey lie.” Her word was her bond. She believed each of us possesses an innate sense of what is right and wrong which tells us when we have transgressed those boundaries. Such a credo was part of an ethical value system that we, as black people, learned from our nineteenth-century ancestors. In those days, we did not need an Integrity Committee to tell us what constitutes ethical behavior.
Continue reading ‘Integrity and Probity’
By Raffique Shah
March 11, 2016
I am relieved to learn that the Cabinet “retreat” in Tobago last weekend did not have as a main item on its agenda achievements of the not-so-new Government during its first six months in office.
If it did, I would have screamed bloody murder, not to add rape of the Treasury, because although I’ve never been to Hotel Magdalena, I should think it’s an expensive place.
Continue reading ‘Rating Rowley’s Government’
By Rachael Espinet
January 15, 2016 – guardian.co.tt
Opposition Senator Wayne Sturge wants the Integrity Commission to investigate the behaviour of Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi for his alleged involvement in what Sturge deems a questionable loan agreement between HDC and Noel Garcia.
Sturge claims Garcia, who was managing director of the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) and is currently the chairman of Udecott, was granted a loan from the HDC.
Continue reading ‘Sturge wants AG probed over HDC loan to Garcia’
By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
August 27, 2015
Sometimes our public officials act in incredible silly ways that are entirely incomprehensible to the ordinary citizen. Dr. Keith Rowley, the leader of the PNM, is locked in a close fight with the UNC, the governing party, for the leadership of the country. Fifteen days before the election the Integrity Commission (IC) demands that he produces certain documents within that period or face the prospect of prosecution.
Continue reading ‘Keith Rowley and the Coercive State’
July 05, 2015 – guardian.co.tt
The problem is that members of the public might have been so distracted by the President’s rumshop reference—a terse dismissal of their questions and concerns—that crucial aspects of his statement might have been lost.
President Anthony Carmona’s reference to “rumshop logic” in describing citizens’ comments about the latest fallouts from the Integrity Commission is unfortunate. Not only did it defeat what was an otherwise laudable attempt to bring clarity to an issue that has long been a focus of national concern and debate, it has also reinforced recent negative perceptions of that agency. The President was well within his rights to deal with the matter at length—he was, after all the focus of much of the criticisms following the latest implosion of that august body. Unfortunately, his choice of words and his condescending tone served to alienate rather then enlighten.
Continue reading ‘President Carmona, the IC and the public’
LIES & LETTERS
By Anna Ramdass
May 25, 2015 – trinidadexpress.com
Israel Khan SC has denied a claim by Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley that the letter he (Khan) wrote to the Integrity Commission (IC) demanding that the Emailgate probe be concluded had Zainool Hosein’s name on the letterhead.
Retired Justice Zainool Hosein is chairman of the Integrity Commission and worked in Khan’s Justitia Omnibus Law Chambers as a consultant before he was made chairman of the IC in November 2014.
Continue reading ‘Rowley: Hosein’s name on letterhead of PM’s lawyer’
By Raffique Shah
May 24, 2015
If the adage “the law is an ass” is held to be true-and over the years, I have heard eminent persons, many of them lawyers, cite it as gospel-then I must confess that some very senior attorneys in this country are confusing me to the point where I am beginning to think that I am an ass, or they are a pack of donkeys.
Hear me out, eh, before you ask me to stop braying.
Continue reading ‘The law is an ass’
Ventour disagrees with Emailgate statement…
‘Time to stand up’
By Renuka Singh
May 21, 2015 – guardian.co.tt
Deputy chairman of the Integrity Commission, retired Justice Sebastian Ventour, yesterday resigned, throwing the body into disarray yet again.
In a telephone interview yesterday, Ventour, whose departure came a day after member Dr Shelly Anne Lalchan also quit, said he took the decision because he disagreed with the media release from the commission which had stated that the prolonged Emailgate investigation had been “terminated.”
Continue reading ‘IC Deputy Chairman Ventour Disagrees, Resigns’
By Multimedia Desk
May 20, 2015 – trinidadexpress.com
FORMER Attorney General and senior counsel Ramesh Lawerence Maharaj on Wednesday issued a statement related to the position taken by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar that she has been vindicated by the letter issued by the Integrity Commission, which terminated its investigation into emailgate. Maharaj’s position is that the letter is not a vindication, and it was premature of her to make such a determination.
Continue reading ‘Ramesh: Not so fast, Kamla’