Attorney General, Faris Al-Rawi speaking during the debate on the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) (Amendment)(No 2) Bill, 2019 during the sitting of the Senate, yesterday. OFFICE OF THE PARLIAMENT

(Trinidad Guardian) The T&T Po­lice Ser­vice (TTPS) will im­port spe­cial­ist pros­e­cu­tors from the Unit­ed King­dom and form an elite unit trained to tack­le mon­ey laun­der­ing, cor­rup­tion and fraud.

The an­nounce­ment was made yes­ter­day by At­tor­ney Gen­er­al Faris Al-Rawi in the Sen­ate, as he re­spond­ed to sub­mis­sions made by Op­po­si­tion Sen­a­tors on the Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Jus­tice (In­dictable Pro­ceed­ings) Bill.

Al-Rawi praised Com­mis­sion­er of Po­lice Gary Grif­fith for an en­tire­ly new unit in the TTPS “to man­age” se­ri­ous fraud, com­plex crime, mon­ey laun­der­ing and oth­er mat­ters.

“That in­volves the im­po­si­tion and im­ple­men­ta­tion which is ac­tive­ly on deck right now of spe­cial­ist at­tor­neys from the Unit­ed King­dom, foren­sic au­di­tors and foren­sic ac­coun­tants.”

He said there are 32 foren­sic au­di­tors and ac­coun­tants that come from one unit alone.

“And a fur­ther six. This kind of pros­e­cu­to­r­i­al weight has nev­er be­fore been in­sti­tu­tion­alised in Trinidad and To­ba­go,” Al-Rawi said.

The AG said the TTPS would no longer come in court with a po­lice­man as a pros­e­cu­tor.

“They are com­ing with spe­cial­ist pros­e­cu­tors…com­ing from the Unit­ed King­dom….com­ing from T&T who are right here in the coun­try work­ing, right now. They en­ter the do­main as Spe­cial Re­serve Po­lice.”

The news comes a month af­ter for­mer at­tor­ney gen­er­al Anand Ram­lo­gan and for­mer UNC sen­a­tor Ger­ald Ramdeen were slapped with cor­rup­tion-re­lat­ed charges stem­ming from le­gal fees con­spir­a­cy.

The AG said in the pi­lot­ing of the law, he re­flect­ed up­on the ex­is­tence of 33,000 plus pre­lim­i­nary in­quiry cas­es.

“The fact that one or two mem­bers of a po­lit­i­cal par­ty may be be­fore the courts in se­ri­ous cir­cum­stances…is one or two peo­ple out of 33,000 ex­ist­ing cas­es.”

Al-Rawi said he would not be in a hur­ry to of­fer an ar­gu­ment “that this law is de­signed to at­tack a po­lit­i­cal par­ty.”

Al-Rawi said his­to­ry was cre­at­ed in the courts yes­ter­day where the first plea bar­gain­ing hear­ing was dealt with which im­pacts the realm of pre­lim­i­nary in­quiries.

He said he heard the UNC speak­ing “glibly about con­tract po­si­tions” giv­en by the PNM, but when the UNC was in gov­ern­ment they “pros­pered on con­tract pro­vi­sions” which bled the trea­sury.

The game has changed, the AG said.

“The pop­u­la­tion may not un­der­stand that just yet. But I think the UNC un­der­stands it.”

Al-Rawi said he was con­fi­dent that the bot­tle­neck in the courts can be man­aged.

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