Opposition leader, Kamla Persad Bissessar says the opposition that she leads will not bargain away the rights of Trinidad and Tobago’s citizens.
Mrs. Persad Bissessar has made the comment amid continued unrest over the Bail Amendment Bill.
In a media statement issued this afternoon, the Siparia MP accuses Attorney General, Faris Al Rawi of being less than honest with respect to the empirical data about how many people are in jail without bail under the existing law and who would become entitled to apply for bail post August 15th.
Pinpointing statements made by Mr. Al Rawi, namely his utterance that the release of prisoners who are on charges of kidnapping for ransom could be a security risk to the country after August 15th , and his indication that he does not have the statistical data to show how many people were denied bail under the Anti-Gang Act and Bail (Amendment) Acts, Mrs. Persad Bissessar argues that the AG’s statements highlight and validate the concerns the Opposition has been voicing about being asked to legislate in the dark.
Mrs. Persad Bissessar is today making it clear that the breakdown of the prison population is trite information that has always been available. She also notes that with respect to the offence of kidnapping for ransom, the Miscellaneous Provisions (Bail and Kidnapping) Act 2011, disentitling persons charged with kidnapping for ransom contains no sunset clause and, therefore remains in force and will remain in force beyond August 15th.
Persad-Bissessar is of the firm view that the Government’s rush to renew the law relating to the Anti-Gang Act and Bail (Amendment) Acts without any examination and analysis of the empirical data must be condemned. Further to this she says the AG’s admission (that he has no statistical data on the number of persons charged and denied bail under these laws, exposes the fallacy in his arguments. She said this proves that the statistics the Attorney General has been quoting, have in fact been incorrect.