Lawyers file motion to censor AG

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Reginald Armor –

A group of 40 attorneys on Wednesday called on the Law Association to call a special general meeting to vote on a motion of no confidence in Attorney General (AG) Reginald Armour, SC.

The action follows the Law Association council’s decision on Tuesday to investigate allegations that the AG may have breached the Legal Profession Act’s code of conduct following a court ruling. American on May 2.

Armour, 65, who was appointed AG on March 16 by the Prime Minister, is expected to return to the country on Thursday after leaving on Tuesday to attend to official business in the Bahamas, a government source said. No details were given about the case he was handling.

A source close to the AG said he maintained he had done nothing wrong.

There was a chorus of calls for his immediate resignation or for the Prime Minister to sack him after the news broke on June 5, detailing the US court ruling disqualifying him from a US case brought by the state against persons suspected of having been involved in corruption. in the construction of the Piarco airport terminal, worth $1.6 billion. Armor previously represented one of the defendants.

Dr Rowley did not respond to questions from the media on the matter.

In the latest development, Attorney Kiel Taklalsingh, in a cover letter to Law Association President Sophia Chote, SC, said some of his colleagues have taken note of the allegations in the public domain against the AG. and thought that the matter should be broken down in a special general assembly of the association.

“With respect, these allegations, if left unaddressed, may erode public confidence in our profession, the administration of justice and the rule of law.”

The attorney said the AG’s continued silence on the matter “is unsatisfactory” because the questions concern “the integrity of our profession” and cannot be considered state secrets.

The petition also calls for a response from the AG “to ensure that the principles of natural justice are upheld.”

The lawyers who signed the petition intend to argue that the AG, as the titular head of the bar, is an ambassador for the legal profession and “is charged with a special and sacred duty to conduct himself a manner that inspires public confidence in the profession and the administration of justice.

The petition states that the AG is also required to be honest and forthright in the conduct of public business and has a duty to preserve and protect the rule of law by ensuring that all representations made to the courts are truthful and accurate to the best of his knowledge.

“The rule of law would be defeated and frustrated if the evidence and/or representations made in court by the Honorable AG were false or misleading.”

Armour, in a June 4 statement, said he had been “cut” from the case by the US law firm after disclosing his potential conflict of interest “other than issues handling the case. “, which included the signing of a settlement by an operational co-witness who agreed to pay US$4 million in compensation to TT, to testify in local cases against his co-defendant and to settle outstanding bills to the company. Over TT$20 million has been paid to the company, which former AG John Jeremie retained in 2004.

Twelve of the Law Association’s 18-member council have agreed to investigate the AG’s conduct after he was disqualified to take part in the multimillion-dollar civil forfeiture case against the former finance minister Brian Kuei Tung and others in front of the Miami-Dade Circuit Court, which has been dragging on for 18 years.

Armor had represented Kuei Tung and his then-girlfriend Renee Pierre in related criminal proceedings in TT. He revealed it to the American law firm, Sequor Law, retained by the State in the case of civil forfeiture, he admitted to being always involved thereafter in the administrative work related to the same case.

In an affidavit in response to a motion by Kuei Tung to strike the U.S. lawsuit, the AG claimed he played a minimal role as counsel for the defendants in TT, which was limited to “legal research and taking notes”.

The opposition filed a no-confidence motion against Armor in the House of Representatives on Tuesday and called on US authorities to open a criminal investigation into a perjury complaint.