Gov’t funded trip for six Ministers to sit in at CCJ hearings

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Director General of the Ministry of the Presidency Joseph Harmon on Thursday confirmed that Government funded the expenses for six Government Ministers who visited the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in Trinidad last week.

The Ministers, Harmon said, went to sit in on hearings relating to the No-Confidence motion, on behalf of the Government.

Harmon did not disclose the cost of the trip or whether the expenses for both travel and accommodation were funded by the Government.

He said this was “based on a decision of Cabinet after a long and careful deliberation of the issues related to the matter of the CCJ.”

The Director-General sought to defend the expenses noting that “the Government will, of course, have the legal attorneys who are presenting their case but very often in a courtroom, when a judge is dealing with a matter, he will look to see what is the interest or what the party’s interests is, in fact, if they don’t appear, if they appear and so on.”

Ministers Sydney Allicock, Tabitha Sarrabo-Halley, Dr George Norton, Nicolette Henry and Haimraj Rajkumar travelled to Trinidad on May 09 while Minister Ronald Bulkan joined the contingent on May 10.

The CCJ during those two days listened to hearings on three consolidated appeals relating to the December 21 No-Confidence motion.

The court proceedings were live-streamed for everyone to view online.

Attorney at law, Christopher Ram in a letter to the editor on May 10 highlighted the issue and argued that “moral support for the Attorney General (AG) [is] hardly a justification for their presence.”

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