Friday 23 August, 2019

No impeachment for Chief Justice, says PM

File photo.

File photo.

Chief Justice Ivor Archie will not face impeachment proceedings.

In December 2018, the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago (LATT) voted in favour of triggering impeachment proceedings against the Chief Justice.

One hundred and fifty members voted in favour of sending the report of the committee established by the council to inquire into allegations of misconduct against Archie, to the Prime Minister for his consideration under 137 of the Constitution.

However, speaking at the post-cabinet media briefing on Thursday, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley said he sought legal advice on the request and was advised not to take action.

“The Law Association sent me a request that I do certain things. I told you that I would take legal advice and I have been in the process of doing that and the legal advice that I have indicate that I do not need or I should not acquiesce to the Law Association’s request. So we move on,” the Prime Minister told reporters at the Diplomatic Centre in St. Ann’s.

Rowley added that that on matters as such, he does not advise himself.

He said the decision to act or not to act on a daily basis is guided by proper advice.

“I wasn’t going to take advice from the Law Association. I don’t advise myself. I went and I got legal advice as to whether, in fact, I should take advice from the Law Association and the advice that I got is that I should not,” the Prime Minister indicated.

According to reports, Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, in response to the latest development questioned whether the Prime Minister was protecting his friends and family.

The Chief Justice has been the subject of allegations of misconduct since 2017.

Archie has been accused of advising Supreme Court Judges to change their state-provided security in favour of a private security company that employed his close friend Dillian Johnson, as a consultant.

It has also been alleged that Johnson, a convicted felon was listed as one of twelve people who successfully obtained houses from the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) after the Chief Justice personally called senior HDC officials to fast-track the applications.

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