(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.