PORT OF SPAIN — Fired justice minister Herbert Volney, in a quest to clear his name over the controversy of the premature proclamation of Section 34 of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Offences) Act 2012, has described Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard as “incompetent” and a “PNM trojan horse in an independent office”.
In an immediate response yesterday Gaspard said he would not comment on Volney’s pronouncement. The proclamation of Section 34, on August 30 by President George Maxwell Richards, paved the way for people to apply to a judge to have their matters dismissed, if they were charged with an offence committed more than ten years before and whose legal prosecution had not started.
These included businessmen Ish Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson who are on fraud charges relating to the $1.6 billion Piarco Airport construction project. After the early proclamation, however, there was uproar from various sectors including Chief Justice Ivor Archie who said he had not been informed of the contentious section, which was subsequently repealed.
The responses posted by Volney was among several he made via e-mail blogs which he posted yesterday. When contacted Volney confirmed the blogs saying they arose out of several questions he was asked by members of the public. One question posed to Volney was as a former senior high court judge was he aware that the “Piarco Nine” would benefit from the “unexplained change” to Section 34. (Guardian)