Roodal riding Anand’s misfortunes

By Raffique Shah
September 07, 2017

Raffique ShahNo one has challenged Opposition Member of Parliament Roodal Moonilal’s assertion that the arrest and indictment of former Attorney General Anand Ramlogan last week was a “distraction by the PNM”. Moonilal is reported to have said: “…This is the modus operandi of the PNM, whether it is Basdeo Panday, Vijay Naraynsingh, Sat Sharma…to harass, to intimidate, to oppress and suppress independent voices against the PNM and their government…”

In the fog of permanent political warfare that has long been a feature of our national landscape, campaign-style rhetoric in which politicians make wild, unsubstantiated charges against each other, I suppose most people have chosen to ignore Moonilal. Others fear a tribal backlash if they speak out or write about what is clearly political mischief.

In an issue as important as allegations of manipulation of the criminal justice system by any government, I will defend to the death a person’s right to expose or criticise what would be tantamount to a criminal act. Equally, if a critic uses the right to freedom of expression to distort the facts or blatantly lie, I will condemn him, damn the consequences.

The notion that the ruling PNM had anything to do with the arrest of Ramlogan, its timing and execution, is repugnant to our Constitution, to the separation of powers enshrined therein. However lame a democracy we live in, whatever the weaknesses of the judiciary, the Police Service, the executive (Government and Parliament) and other State institutions, we enjoy significant insulation from dictatorial tendencies.

What are the facts in the Ramlogan issue? The first hint that something was amiss was when, in January 2015, news broke that the relatively unknown attorney David West, who had been appointed chairman of the Police Complaints Authority, had reported to the police that then AG Ramlogan had sought to have him withdraw a witness statement he had tendered in a civil defamation lawsuit the AG had filed against then Opposition Leader, Dr Keith Rowley.

Without delving into details, but relevant to the issue I am addressing, Ramlogan publicly proclaimed his innocence. However, weeks later, then Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, fired Ramlogan as AG, as well as then National Security Minister Gary Griffith, who admitted to have also tendered a statement in the defamation case.

Now, a prime minister does not casually dismiss an AG who had served for close to five years, and more than that, mere months before she was constitutionally bound to call a general election. When this drama unfolded, Moonilal was a senior member of Cabinet and leader of Government business in the House.

Did he raise hell with the PM over Ramlogan’s sacking? Did he even counsel her against taking such drastic action against his friend and comrade? Not as far as I know. So when he had political influence, he did nothing. In fact, none of the then heavyweights who are today crying crocodile tears for Ramlogan spared him even a thought then.

Fast forward to recent months when we became aware that the police were actively conducting investigations—three years after the report was made. The police searched the home of the former reporter who first broke the story, seizing a few electronic devices for scrutiny. Then last week they swooped down on Ramlogan in the way they are accustomed to—oversized posse, fully armed, flashing lights, in pre-dawn hours, all unnecessary, but all police-style.

Where did the Rowley Government feature in all of this? I’d be surprised if the PM or the Minister of National Security knew beforehand of the state of the investigations, far less details of the arrest. The two charges Ramlogan faces, misbehavior in public life and obstructing justice, cannot be remotely deemed of interest to national security, hence engage the attention of the PM, the line minister or the National Security Council.

In Moonilal’s warped logic, he sees the hand of the PNM manipulating the police, maybe even the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, both of which are supposed to be independent arms of the criminal justice system.

I am not suggesting that over the years, politicians in power have not sought to influence police and other judicial officers. In fact, having held high political office, Moonilal may have personal knowledge of such attempts, or actual interventions—I don’t know.

In a country as corrupt as Trinidad and Tobago, I am putting my head on the block for no one: we are corruptible from top to bottom—a mantra I find myself repeating almost every time I write.

Still, we must have faith in some individuals and some institutions. Ramlogan said, after his court appearance, that the truth will set him free. If he felt that the PNM was behind his prosecution, he would never be so confident.

Moonilal, seeking to ride Ramlogan’s wagon for all the political mileage he can gain, will no doubt be happy if the ex-AG’s misfortunes multiply…think of the potential of a jail-term, picketing the prison…wow!

With friends like Moonilal, Ramlogan does not need the PNM…er, enemies.

18 Responses to “Roodal riding Anand’s misfortunes”


  • In a country as corrupt as Trinidad and Tobago, I am putting my head on the block for no one: we are corruptible from top to bottom—a mantra I find myself repeating almost every time I write.(SHAH)

    Yet, you think this case is an exception?
    As a “journalist” you must have proof of your central thesis.

    “we must have faith in some individuals and some institutions”(SHAH)

    Which individuals? The PM, Chief of Police?…all with questionable resumes.
    The Police organization….a group which many have accused of being corrupt and involved in crimes.

    Or is this another apologist article designed to placate your PNM friends?

    • I know that politicians on all sides can get members of the police lack of service to do their bidding. But the salient points that were raised by Raffique cannot be dismissed.

      Let me quote him:

      “What are the facts in the Ramlogan issue? The first hint that something was amiss was when, in January 2015, news broke that the relatively unknown attorney David West, who had been appointed chairman of the Police Complaints Authority, had reported to the police that then AG Ramlogan had sought to have him withdraw a witness statement he had tendered in a civil defamation lawsuit the AG had filed against then Opposition Leader, Dr Keith Rowley.

      Without delving into details, but relevant to the issue I am addressing, Ramlogan publicly proclaimed his innocence. However, weeks later, then Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, fired Ramlogan as AG, as well as then National Security Minister Gary Griffith, who admitted to have also tendered a statement in the defamation case.

      Now, a prime minister does not casually dismiss an AG who had served for close to five years, and more than that, mere months before she was constitutionally bound to call a general election. When this drama unfolded, Moonilal was a senior member of Cabinet and leader of Government business in the House.

      Did he raise hell with the PM over Ramlogan’s sacking? Did he even counsel her against taking such drastic action against his friend and comrade? Not as far as I know. So when he had political influence, he did nothing. In fact, none of the then heavyweights who are today crying crocodile tears for Ramlogan spared him even a thought then.”

  • Roody “hide yuh children from Rowley” Moonilal is trying to play smart with foolishness. Roody has cocoa in the sun and just taking in front before front take him. He knows he is under investigation since November 2016.
    Corruption is a way of life in our piece of paradise, but some jokey people in my country will put their heads on a block, saying that everything was done above board by the 10-15 Regime. Even the good old Roody made that “above board” claim.
    AR the AG took corruption to a new level. Remember the car deal, when he asked this country if they wanted him to purchase a donkey cart? Remember the payment of monies to his friends, and he asked this country if they wanted him to hire his enemies?
    AR the AG “spent” hundreds of millions of taxpayers dollars, and not single PNM was investigated, arrested or charged for anything. He made the PNM look like altar boys.
    The man had difficulty locating a grand piano in a building.

  • “Satyameva Jayate” the meaning of these esteemed words in Sanskrit? Truth Alone Triumphs. One cannot be a practicing Hindu, and don’t adhere to this moral passage, it never fails to amaze me at the level the UNC and their supporters are willing to go for political milage. Brother Rafs observation is right on point,Kamla didn’t stand on the side of Anand Ram when the allegations was made, she replaced him instantly from her cabinet, so there might be more in the morta than the pestle, my only hope, is that the judiciary doesn’t make a mess of this timely case, let the truth rain.

    • again missing the point … the issue of what he did will be in the courts hand but the way its handled it show political influence by the pnm and that’s the issue

      Satan correcting sin did you not see the guardian 12 months of pnm

  • it pain me to read this article so much that I had to respond to my shahs SIR PLEASE STOP WRITING ARTICLES!!!!

  • In T&T there are four sides to every story: the Media, the Opposition, The presiding government and The TRUTH.

  • Where did the Rowley Government feature in all of this? I’d be surprised if the PM or the Minister of National Security knew beforehand of the state of the investigations, far less details of the arrest.(SHAH)

    It seems that the PM knows about this case before anyone else.

    How did Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley have the confidence to tell citizens that Opposition MP Roodal Moonilal will be brought before the courts?
    That’s the question Israel Khan SC has officially put to Acting of Commissioner Police Stephen Williams on Moonilal’s behalf. Khan sent a letter on the issue to Williams on Tuesday.
    The move is the fall-out from the remarks Rowley made about Moonilal when the PM spoke at a media briefing last Friday before he left for a US medical check-up. Rowley alluded then to a warrant he claimed Moonilal was “under” and also alluded to “when” Moonilal “appears in court” under the warrant.

  • Boy Oh Boy! Poor Anand, he didn’t do anything and these PNM people went and arrest him just like that.

  • TMan, an investigation was started back in November on the HDC, where Moonilal was Minister. Remember when Jerlean John was dismissed?
    A report was carried in the Trinidad Express on November 4, 2016 (Anna Ramdass)

  • The PNM strategy is simple arrest Anand, Moonilal and KPB charging them with corruption. Anyone who believes the PNM and the judiciary is independent need to have their head examined.

    They did that with Panday by parading him as corrupt politician. So obsess are they are with power. Rowley disclosed the plan as he usually do when under pressure.

    The PNM most successful strategy to date is to parade UNC politicians saying to their supporters “look we catch one”. (Applause).

    To date Rowley supporters are drunk with balisier juice. That toxic concoction of power, money and arrogance is the trade mark of the PNM. The balisier juice drinkers are prepared like Jim Jones followers to go the extra mile. To them it does not matter that everyday people are losing their jobs, contracts not being renewed, and businesses are being target for robbery.

    The balisier juice drinks appear when the UNC in power. You see them walking the street with mannequins, spitting water in the air, going on long fast, threatening the leader of the UNC, everyday headlines, going on strike etc. Their obsession with power is exemplified in the statement dare I say the thesis statement. “We in charge, deal with it”. We await our defender the good Lord.

  • I wonder how much cocoa Moonilal has in the sun. All the past HDC Ministers raped the treasury. They all made millions…some invested in housing…some laundered the money overseas as they looked like raging bulls according to one former PM. But God doh sleep the rain will come for Moonilal. He aint that good. All the exam he forged he will be exposed.

  • If one looks at past financial balance sheets, the NHA appears to be a well-placed conduit for tax payers money filtering to the Minister and cohorts in charge at that agency. There seems to be history laid out here for us irrespective of which administration is at the helm. Jack Warner has experience with another conduit he established with another agency FIFA and he did say he knew Moonilal when he did not have two pennies to knock in his pocket. Let Satya prevail.

  • Everyone knows that there is an investigation going on involving Moonilal. Moonilal only playing smart with foolishness, because he was questioned by the media about said investigation back in November 2016. He referred to it as a “witch hunt.”
    When Anand Ramlogan was appointed Attorney General back in 2010, most people thought that he would have some PNM “crooks” running for their lawyers, but instead, Kamla, Anand, Prakash and the crew ran straight for the Treasury.

  • “How did Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley have the confidence to tell citizens that Opposition MP Roodal Moonilal will be brought before the courts?…….”

    It is a little sick, to use such logic by those who oppose Dr. Rowley, to create an atmosphere of lawyering, where one would question the knowledge of the PM beforehand, that Moonilal is a ‘suspect’. It would seem that anyone with an iota of sense, would conclude that Moonilal is suspect number one in the housing enquiries. Who does not know that Jerlean John is also a “suspect”?. What happens to suspects, when they are suspected of flaunting the law?. Isn’t there an expected chance that they may be brought to a court of law?

    Let’s be clear on this, this is a political argument, not a legalistic one. It is one that may appear to those wishing to question Dr. Rowley’s authority, that he is in bed with the legal fraternity as collusion. But it is really a foolish argument.
    Kamla, as Prime Minister, stated that some held for questioning were arrested because they threatened her life. She or her lawyers never provided any such evidence and neither did any prosecuting authority. Where was her legal authority to make such allegations?. Look, this is all politics and Moonilal is a master politician when it comes to to distractions. We know that when Kamla, Moonilal and company took the government, the Treasury was full and when they left, it was empty. That is a fact and any succeeding government would be amiss in not wanting to know “whey d money gone?”. Least of all Dr. Rowley. I applaud him and anyone who is looking at Moonilal as a possible “suspect”.

  • ” All ah we(pnm) tief.”

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