Trinidad’s Justice Minister Fired

Herbert Volney

Trinidad and Tobago’s Justice Minister, Herbert Volney, was fired on Thursday September 20th, over a controversial law that could allow charges to be dropped against more than a dozen people facing corruption charges, including two men wanted in the United States.

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said Volney, a member of parliament of the ruling coalition, had deceived the government by assuring the cabinet that the proclamation of the new law had been approved by the country’s Chief Justice and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Persad-Bissessar apologized to the country and called Volney’s actions a “serious misrepresentation.”

A clause in the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act, which was passed last November and came into effect at the end of last month, established a statute of limitation for alleged crimes more than 10 years old.

As a result of the law, the government came under a barrage of criticism from a broad cross-section of the two-island Caribbean nation, including trade unions, lawyers and business groups.

© 2012 SAT Telecommunications Ltd.

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