AG: Due process must be followed
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad – Attorney General Anand Ramlogan says he will not be rushed into making a decision in the extradition of businessmen Ishwar Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson.“This is not a decision one can rush, bearing in mind that the situation is [subject] to judicial review. To rush it would be to defeat the very objective that some people have in mind. Due process and the rule of law will prevail and there will be a fair decision at the end of the day,” Ramlogan said Friday. He was referring to the extradition of former United National Congress (UNC) financiers during an interview with the media at a handing-over ceremony for 75 vehicles to the Ministry of National Security at VMCOTT compound, Beetham Gardens, Laventille.Having lost a constitutional motion challenging the legality of an extradition request from the United States on Thursday, Justice Vasheist Kokaram ordered that the conservatory order – which was issued on June 16, preventing Ramlogan from authorising Galbaransingh’s and Ferguson’s extradition until the motion filed by them was heard – be discharged. This left the decision to extradite the businessmen up to Ramlogan.He said, “Now that my hands have been untied, there is a process that needs to be followed, and the accused here are in fact behind a bar. That means the process will now take place to consider the representations made. But because we objected to bail, it means that we have eliminated the possibility of absconding.” He added, “What has to happen now, bearing in mind that any decision we take may be [subject] to judicial review, is a process that will engage listening to the representations with legal advice from a legal team that is chaired by Mr James Lewis, Queen’s Counsel from London, and getting representations from the requested state agency, namely the United States, and then I would make my decision.” However, Ramlogan said Lewis needed time to look over the representations.