Trinidad: Former A.G. Anand Ramlogan and Senator Gerald Ramdeen facing multiple corruption charges

Anand Ramlogan

(Trinidad Express) A series of corruption charges were last night being laid against former Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, SC, and United National Congress (UNC) Senator Gerald Ramdeen by officers of the Anti-Corruption Investigative Bureau (ACIB).

Detectives began the laying of the charges around 8 p.m. after receiving the green light to proceed from Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard, SC.

The charges relate to the alleged kickback of millions of dollars in legal fees to the two between the period 2010 and 2015 when Ramlogan held the office of attorney general under the then UNC-led People’s Partnership administration.   

The two were detained by police on Wednesday morning, May 1. 2019, following months of investigations stemming back from October 2017 when the allegations first came to the attention of police by British Queen’s Counsel Vincent Nelson.

Ramlogan was arrested around 4.15 a.m. at the Piarco International Airport as he was about to board a flight to the British Virgin Islands via Miami to appear in the case of Mark Vanderpool against Julien Wilcox. Ramdeen surrendered to ACIB investigators three hours later.

Nelson, who is the State’s main witness against the duo, appeared before Earle-Caddle on three conspiracy charges. He arrived in Trinidad and Tobago on Monday from the United Kingdom.

According to those charges, he conspired with Ramlogan and Ramdeen to receive, conceal and transfer rewards to them after being retained by Ramlogan in his capacity as attorney general to represent the State in a number of matters.

Nelson, who is of Jamaican descent, was paid millions of dollars since he was given the brief for nine proceedings, including the Petrotrin/Malcolm Jones matter, cases involving UTT, UDeCOTT, Las Alturas, eTecK, CLICO, the Ministry of Finance and Board of Inland Revenue. All the payments came from the Office of the Attorney General, and not from the individual State companies.

At his court appearance on Thursday, the DPP submitted that usually when individuals are charged with such offences, a preliminary enquiry is to follow where the magistrate would then make a determination as to whether there is sufficient evidence for the accused to stand trial at the High Court.

But in this instance, Gaspard said both the prosecution and the defence had held discussions and agreed to have the matters transferred before a High Court judge for hearing and determination without committal proceedings taking place since Nelson intends to plead guilty.

That application, which was granted by the Chief Magistrate, was made under the Criminal Procedure (Plea Discussion and Plea Agreement) Act, which was proclaimed by President Paula-Mae Weekes on January 2.

The hearing will come up sometime within the next month.

Nelson was granted bail in the sum of $100,000 to cover all three charges. He is also free to travel in and out of the country based on his level of co-operation with the prosecution.

Queen’s Counsel Tom Allen, who is leading his case submitted during the appearance that based on the sensitivity of the case and the fact that he is the main witness against Ramlogan and Ramdeen, his client would be more safe if he were to not remain in Trinidad and Tobago.

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