OUR COVER STORY by PETER GREEN
PNM sources are spreading the talk that once Kamla admits that she had warned Marlene about a month before that she would be arrested on corruption charges then she will be guilty of perverting the course of justice under Sections 51 and 53 of the Proceeds in Crime Act and she will be facing jail once the state can prove its case against her. The relevant Sections of the Act read as follows:
- (1) A person commits an offence if—
(a) he knows or suspects that a Police Officer is acting, or is proposing to act, in connection with
an investigation which is being, or is about to be, conducted into money laundering; and
(b) he discloses to any other person information or any other matter which is likely to prejudice that investigation, or proposed investigation.
(2) A person commits an offence if—
(a) he knows or suspects that a disclosure
(hereinafter referred to as “the disclosure”) has been made to a Police Officer or the designated
authority under section 47, 48 or 49; and
(b) he discloses to any other person information or any other matter which is likely to prejudice any investigation which might be conducted following the disclosure.
(3) A person commits an offence if—
(a) he knows or suspects that a disclosure of a kind
mentioned in section 48(a), 49 or 50 (“the disclosure”) has been made; and
(b) he discloses to any person information or any other matter which is likely to prejudice any
investigation which might be conducted following the disclosure.
(4) Nothing in subsections (1) to (3) makes it an offence for an employee of a financial institution to disclose any information in a suspicious activity report or for a professional legal adviser to disclose any information or other matter—
(a) to, or to a representative of, a client of his in connection with the giving by the adviser of legal advice to the client; or
(b) to any person—
(i) in contemplation of, or in connection with, legal proceedings; and
(ii) for the purpose of those proceedings.
(5) Subsection (4) does not apply in relation to any information or other matter which is disclosed with a view to furthering any criminal purpose.
(6) In proceedings against a person for an offence under subsection (1), (2) or (3), it is a defence to prove that he did not know or suspect that the disclosure was likely to be prejudicial in the way mentioned in that subsection.
- (1) A person who commits an offence under section 45 is liable on conviction on indictment, to a fine of twenty-five million dollars and to imprisonment for fifteen years.
(2) A person who commits an offence under section 51 is liable on summary conviction to a fine of five million dollars and to imprisonment for five years.
(3) A person who commits an offence under section 52 is liable on summary conviction to a fine of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars and to imprisonment for three years.
Sources deep within the bosom of the PNM are calling Kamla “the tipsy tipster” and they are licking their chops in the belief that the Opposition Leader, according to them, is in trouble.
The daily newspapers are also carrying the PNM torch
The daily newspapers are also carrying the PNM torch and are insisting that Kamla should advise the nation if she had warned Marlene or not. The Prime Minister stated such in Parliament last week and this was supported by AG Faris Al Rawi. Following the Prime Minister’s revelation in the Parliament, Marlene herself publicly stated that Kamla told her that “Police coming for you.” and this was “ four to five weeks before her arrest” when Kamla told her that she was going to be “locked up”. Marlene even revealed that she had been offered silk during the People’s Partnership administration which she refused on the advice of Rowley.
In confirming the accuracy of Rowley’s statement to Parliament on the matter, Marlene says, “Let me tell you what happened. One Friday I got to Parliament and when I got there, I got a note from Kamla telling me that she wanted to have a chat with me. During the tea break I went upstairs and when I was leaving, she came out behind me and we spoke by the tearoom And she told me that she understood from top sources that police were coming to lock me up. And I said, ‘yuh sure? Lock me up for what?’ And she said to me ‘I don’t know, but I am just telling you because we know each other for a long while and I (Persad-Bissessar) got it from top sources that this is what is going to happen’. Whereupon Marlene says she contacted the Minister of National Security Stuart Young and Attorney General Faris Al Rawi both of whom assured her that nothing of this sort is going to happen.
While Faris has made a public statement on the matter in support of Marlene disclosure up to press time Young had not.
Attempts to contact Persad-Bissessar have proven futile
PNM sources are clapping their hands in glee at this alleged indiscretion of the Opposition Leader who is also a Senior Counsel. Marlene herself is a lawyer. Attempts to contact Persad-Bissessar on this matter for the past week have proven futile and her Chief Whip David Lee has said that she has a cold, the virus, and cannot speak to the media. The UNC, in the meantime, is making a pathetic attempt of trying to blame the PNM for using the Marlene issue “ to spin the Kamla leak fable to try to get Marlene off.” This really makes no sense. However, some other PNM members are opposed to Kamla being charged for the offence (assuming there is one) stating that it will only make her a martyr and with that “, she will be able to walk back into government with the greatest of ease.”
Several legal luminaries were contacted on the matter and there were mixed views expressed. However, one Senior Counsel disputed if the Police will ever be able to prove that Kamla tipped off Marlene based on her right to freedom of speech and not advising a friend. Kamla has also been advised by her attorney not to speak on the matter while he himself has refused to admit whether it was he who had advised Kamla about Marlene’s impending arrest.
Whatever the outcome, one thing is certain, the public has not heard the last of this matter.