Wrong statistics publicly quoted this week by Attorney General Faris Al Rawi was just the latest occasion in which he has made Trinidad and Tobago do a double-take.
Al Rawi received a public upbraiding from his Cabinet colleague Finance Minister Colm Imbert for citing $12 billion as the outstanding Value Added Tax (VAT) figure.
“I don’t know where the Attorney General got that figure from,” Imbert snapped.
He put the correct sum at $500 million.
TT Whistleblower put together 11 other occasions in which Al Rawi has left Trinidad and Tobago stunned.
· Al Rawi was sworn in as a member of Cabinet before the Prime Minister in a clear breach of protocol. He had to be sworn in again, this time after the Prime Minister.
· His role in the withdrawal of litigation in the billion-dollar World Gas-to-Liquids (WGTL) scandal led to a no-confidence motion against him in Parliament.
· He claims to be a direct descendent of Prophet Muhammad – his 43rd grandfather directly.
· He insists that the national Constitution does not guarantee the right to privacy. This has been disputed by eminent attorneys and constitutionalists, including Michael de la Bastide, former Chief Justice and President of the Caribbean Court of Justice.
· He served as legal counsel for ArcelorMittal and never disclosed that professional relationship even during the Government’s discussions with that multinational.
· He said the President assented to the Strategic Services Agency (Amendment) Act because he “thought it must be good law.” But the President does not have discretion in assenting to legislation passed by Parliament.
· His own law professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine criticized him on the SSA legislation, saying it was illegal and tramples on constitutional rights.
· He said he had begun legal groundwork on decriminalization of marijuana. But the Prime Minister said the matter was not discussed by the Cabinet.
· He quoted legal fees paid by the previous administration out of context and in an allegedly misleading manner.
· He met Justin Junkere, along with other independent senators, on the SSA legislation, even though Junkere had not yet been sworn in as a temporary senator. Junkere has also received legal briefs from the office of the Attorney General.
· Bungling by the office of the Attorney General on administrative matters relating to the Children’s Life Fund led to the death of innocent baby Navene Harripersad.