PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Monday May 6, 2019 – Former Attorney General Anand Ramlogan and United National Congress (UNC) Senator and attorney Gerald Ramdeen appeared in court this morning on corruption charges, five days after being held for questioning by police over an alleged conspiracy to financially reward themselves with fees from legal briefs from the State.
But Ramlogan says life will continue for him as normal, even as he fights the charges.
The two were charged late Friday. At that time, Ramlogan was granted TT$1.2 million (US$ 177,450) bail while Ramdeen was released on TT $1.5 million (US$ 221,812) bail.
At their first court appearance before Chief Magistrate Maria Busby Earle-Caddle in the Port of Spain Magistrates Court today, neither was required to plea as their charges are indictable.
It is alleged that they conspired with Jamaica-born Queen’s Counsel Vincent Nelson for Ramlogan to misbehave in public office by accepting sums of money from Nelson for granting him State briefs; conspired for Ramdeen to receive, conceal, and transfer criminal property which represented corrupt rewards given to Ramlogan by Nelson for the State briefs; and conspired for Nelson to give ten per cent of the paid legal fees to Ramlogan as a “gift” or “reward” for being granted those State briefs. The offences occurred on various dates between October 1, 2010 and September 9, 2015.
Nelson, who has entered into a plea deal with the prosecution and will testify against his co-conspirators, appeared in court last Friday and was granted bail. He is set to return to court later this month.
Ramlogan and Ramdeen, meantime, will make another court appearance on June 28.
While Ramdeen did not speak with the media either before or after leaving the court today, a smiling Ramlogan declared after his court appearance that “at the end the day truth will emerge”, and in the meantime it would be business as usual for him.
“I know at the end of the day the truth will emerge and I anxiously await my time and my day in court. Matters that are subject to the court, of course I can’t comment. However I will be going to court myself to represent my clients. I will be back at my law firm tomorrow and I intend to live my life as normal. No weapon formed against me shall prosper,” he said.
Attorney-at-law Pamela Elder who leads Ramlogan’s legal team, told reporters that she had heard that Nelson, the State’s star witness, was ailing and she hoped he would receive the best medical treatment and would be able to testify.
“I hope…he keeps in good health and does not go to the hereafter before we get an opportunity to cross-examine him with respect to these allegations he has made against two senior members of the Crown,” Elder said, adding that she had confidence in the Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard that he would make all necessary disclosures and do everything in his power to make sure the matter is dealt with expeditiously.
Ramlogan was arrested last Wednesday at Piarco International Airport while Ramdeen surrendered to police later that day after learning there was a warrant for his arrest. They were questioned by officers from the Anti-Corruption Investigative Bureau before being charged last Friday night.