Saturday, September 22, 2007

AG Jeremie: CJ’s charges offensive

ATTORNEY GENERAL John Jeremie said yesterday that he is not going to respond to the scurrilous allegations made by the attorneys for suspended Chief Justice Sat Sharma.

Jeremie said he has had some experience with British Queen’s Counsel Geoffrey Robertson in Trinidad. “I am not going to be drawn into an unnecessary debate,” Jeremie added.

Robertson, lead attorney for Sharma, made allegations and imputations against Jeremie during his cross-examination of Chief Magistrate Sherman Mc Nicolls before the three-member impeachment tribunal earlier this week.

As a result, the tribunal headed by Lord Mustill, on Thursday, invited Jeremie to appear before its members to defend himself. Jeremie, surrounded by bodyguards, arrived at the Winsure building, Port-of-Spain, at about 9.05 am yesterday and proceeded to the second floor.

Inside the courtroom, Reginald Armour SC, counsel to the tribunal, informed the members that a letter was sent to the Attorney General with a copy of the transcript on Thursday afternoon.

The letter invited Jeremie to appear before the tribunal to give evidence. A copy of the letter was sent to Jeremie’s attorney Douglas Mendes SC, who is in Barbados. Mendes responded yesterday by letter, which Armour read to the tribunal.

Mendes noted that Lord Mustill was of the view that an imputation had been made by Robertson that “the Attorney General has been a willing and active participant and possibly the instigator of a cynical plot to wreck the trial of Mr (Basdeo) Panday.”

Mendes said although Mustill did not mention it, he also observed that Robertson was also suggesting that the Attorney General and the Chief Magistrate conspired together to make a false report to the Prime Minister that the Chief Justice was attempting to influence Mc Nicolls’ decision in the Panday criminal trial.

“The Attorney General has advised that these allegations are wholly false,” Mendes declared. Mendes said the tribunal was minded to consider investigating the Chief Justice’s extravagant allegations of serious criminal conduct made against the Attorney General and the suggestion was that Jeremie should appear before the tribunal at less than 24 hours’ notice to answer these charges.

Mendes said the Attorney General was quite willing to assist the tribunal with any evidence of wrongdoing on his part, if any exists. According to Mendes, Jeremie plans to provide a written statement dealing with the imputations which Robertson had raised.

Mendes wanted to know whether Jeremie would be entitled to counsel, whether he would be entitled to cross-examine Sharma and his witnesses, in so far as they implicate him in any wrongdoing.

Mendes also wanted to know whether Jeremie would be able to cross-examine Mc Nicolls on matters relevant to the allegations which the Chief Justice made.

In response, Mustill, sitting with Sir Vincent Floissac QC and Dennis Morrison QC, said Jeremie was entitled to be represented by counsel. He also ruled that Jeremie is entitled to cross-examine Sharma and that Mc Nicolls should be recalled to be questioned by the AG’s lawyer.

Mustill then invited Jeremie into the court. The AG walked into the room and looked around before he was ushered to a chair in front of the lawyers. Mustill then directed his statement to Jeremie. Mustill said Jeremie should give his evidence before Sharma, mindful that he should get sufficient time to peruse the documents.

The tribunal chairman gave Jeremie two choices — provide a statement and do not give evidence, or provide a statement and come for cross-examination. Jeremie said he was given short notice and “summoned” to court.

Mustill told the AG he was not summoned. Jeremie added, “Given the unfortunate history of this matter in the Magistrates’ Court, I felt it necessary to be here today.” Jeremie said he got the message while leaving Cabinet on Thursday.

He also pointed out that he would be very busy next week as it was going to be the last of the parliamentary term. The AG said he was not sure he would be available next week for cross-examination, but he wants to assist the tribunal. Mustill told Jeremie that he must decide which course he wants to adopt — provide a statement or give evidence in court. Jeremie then got up and left.

If you doh have no cocoa in the fockin sun why worry bout rain?

He will never allow himself to be cross examined, just like he fockin coward boss. Because they know that they will be caught fockin lying.


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