Opposition Leader Kamla Persad Bissessar Monday welcomed the decision of Gerald Ramdeen to resign as a senator following his appearance in court on several charges stemming from an alleged scheme involving state briefs.
“I think he did the right thing in that I did not have to request it. He sent it and I received it sometime today before I came here,” Persad-Bissessar told reporters during the tea break of the sitting of the House of Representatives, adding that she would have requested his resignation had he not done so.
“It is in keeping with the manner I have always operated in public officer,” she said, adding that a replacement would be announced soon.
Ramdeen, along with former attorney general Anand Ramlogan appeared before Chief Magistrate Maria Busby Earle-Caddle in the Port-of-Spain Magistrates Court charged with conspiracy to contravene Section 3 of the Prevention of Corruption Act; conspiracy to contravene Section 45 of the Proceeds of Crime Act and conspiracy to misbehave in public office between October 1, 2010 to September 9, 2015.
Neither Ramlogan nor Ramdeen were asked to enter a plea since the charges have been laid indictably.
According to the allegations, Ramlogan and Ramdeen conspired for the former attorney general to misbehave in public office by accepting sums of money representing a reward from Nelson for granting him state briefs
It is further alleged that they conspired for Ramdeen to receive, conceal, and transfer criminal property which represented corrupt rewards given to Ramlogan by Nelson for the state briefs.
The third allegation against the two is that they conspired for Nelson to give ten per cent of the paid legal fees to Ramlogan as a “gift” or “reward” for being granted those state briefs.
They will re-appear in court on June 28. They have been released on bail totalling TT$2.7 million (One TT dollar=US$0.16 cents).
Director of Public Prosecution, Roger Gaspard agreed with the attorneys for Ramlogan and Ramdeen to have the matter expedited.
Ramlogan served as attorney general between 2010-15 when the United National Congress (UNC) formed the biggest partner in the coalition People’s Partnership government headed by Persad Bissessar, while Ramdeen is a front line member of the main opposition United National Congress (UNC).
Persad Bissesar told reporters “I trust that justice will take its course and both gentlemen have vehemently denied the allegations made against them and we will see in the courts of law how that transpires”.