Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi says the preliminary inquiry into the witness tampering case against his predecessor Anand Ramlogan will begin on April 9.
The attorney general made the announcement during a press conference at the Attorney General and Legal Affairs Tower yesterday.
“I’ll be signing, at the request of the police, a witness statement on that matter immediately after this press conference,” said Al-Rawi.
The case surrounds allegations made by Police Complaints Authority director David West that he was approached by Ramlogan to withdraw his (West) witness statement in relation to a defamation case against then Opposition Leader Keith Rowley in 2014.
Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith, who was the then Minister of National Security, and Ramlogan, who was then Attorney General, were both removed from the Cabinet in 2015 after an investigation into the incident was launched by Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams.
Ramlogan was subsequently charged with misbehaviour in public office and obstruction of justice in 2017. According to the obstruction of justice charge, Ramlogan is accused of using threats, bribery or other means to dissuade West from giving evidence contrary to Section 11(2) (A) of the Criminal Offences Act.
Ramlogan is out on $350,000 bail pending the hearing of the matters.
“This matter caused Mr Griffith to be fired for telling the truth and caused Mr Ramlogan to reluctantly step down as Attorney General,” said Al-Rawi.
However, the announcement of the case date came as a surprise to Ramlogan, who said he was unaware that his matter was going to the preliminary inquiry stage this month.
He questioned the Attorney General’s decision to speak on the matter in a public arena and asked if he had inside information on the case.
Ramlogan said, “The management of the matter was subject to an independent judicial process and the AG has no right to attempt to influence, prejudice or interfere in the matter.”
However, the Attorney General said during the press conference that he was not speaking on behalf of the TTPS or the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions when asked about the matter during the press conference.
“I respect the separation of powers,” Al-Rawi said.
Reporter: Peter Christopher