Monday, April 28, 2014

Faris in Wonderland...

Just how low does this rabbit hole go? The only thing that seems to be protecting Senator Faris al Rawi from being prosecuted for his crimes against the state at this moment is hubris and the momentum it is providing. For some reason some powerful people in this country seem bent on sending the wrong message to society in what still amounts to a blatant act of theft, a conspiracy to deceive, the use of highly sensitive and classified material to destabilize an elected government, the abandonment of the ethics of the legal profession, the shaming of the courts by an officer  of the court and the bringing of the nation's Senate into disrepute.

A mouthful by any stretch, the media's hands off handling of the matter again conspires to confound natural justice through the manipulation of public perception as to what exactly took place and it is evidence of how badly broken and compromised much of the machinery of Trinidad & Tobago really is.

Who stole the document? How does the head of the Police Complaints Authority say one thing today and another tomorrow regarding the nature of the document in question? If it was not confidential why did it have to be stolen and leaked into mailboxes, dustbins and other of the erstwhile Senator's orifices?

But are we missing the real crux of the thing here? Regardless of any and all attempts to sanitize what was done after the fact, do we have anyone anyone with the authority and fortitude to say - 'You sir, Faris al Rawi, by your actions, have brought both the legal fraternity and the Senate into odium and should be defrocked and removed from both?'

There is much I can and will say about Ms Lucky's role and involvement since and I plan to, but I don't want to be sidetracked as to 'content' over crime as others appear to want to. When the Director of Public Prosecutions said unequivocally that he knows with a certainty that it was not his office that leaked the documents, isn't he saying that it could ONLY be the Police Complaints Authority? So why not investigate the PCA? Why not have Gillian Lucky stand down for her inability to protect the custody of the information of an investigation in an organization whose charter demands that all in its purview and control be kept confidential. So much so that it goes on to proffer onerous and serious consequences of a five year jail term and a fifty thousand dollar fine to all who might leak any such material?

My position is simple. We have two of the known conspirators, begin by charging them first. The Express journalist and Senator Faris al Rawi both ought to have known what they were playing with here, and the impact of their combined political mischief may have rendered all of the work in the said investigation moot simply based on the notion of pre-trial publicity creating an unfair environment for any defendants.

The responsibility first and foremost for all who have any involvement in any follow on investigation is to clear the air as to the trustworthiness of the Police Complaints Authority, and the ONLY way that can be done is to unmask all who were responsible. Without that who is to say what in the future could be equally leaked putting lives in danger in situations where rogue officers are being investigated on the the evidence put forward by informants believing their information to be safe?

The matter of the content of the document is now for another time, another argument in another place, the only issue facing the population at large is under what circumstances and how exactly did Faris al Rawi and the Express come to have this document. Custody of evidence is a serious responsibility, and unless she is running a shoddy and slipshod operation even Gillian Lucky herself must want to know who exactly was responsible for this breach.

And further bringing the legal fraternity into disrepute we are hearing murmurs of a yet unnamed Senior Counsel who may also have had possession of the document, and if so, why? And has the gentleman been approached by anyone to tell his side as to whether he was the one guilty under section 47 of the PCA Act and should also be duly charged under article (h)?

Don't lose the plot here. The issue remains. Someone stole a highly sensitive document pertaining to an investigation of possible misbehavior at the highest levels of National Security, and if we cannot police and protect that then we would have no choice but to admit that all bets are off.

Senator Faris al Rawi and the Express Newspaper both have questions to answer. Deal with that.

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