|Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, Former Attorney|
General, United National Congress.
FORMER attorney general in the United National Congress (UNC) government Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj SC has been retained by Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley to defend him in a defamation lawsuit.
Rowley, political leader of the People's National Movement (PNM), made the disclosure at a political meeting in Point Fortin on Tuesday night.
Rowley was served legal letters on behalf of Senior Superintendent Surajdeen Persad, claiming damages for defamation, following statements Rowley allegedly made at a meeting in Tunapuna last week.
Maharaj confirmed yesterday that he was retained by Rowley in the matter. "Yes, he has retained me. It is a matter where Senior Superintendent Surajdeen Persad wants to commence on legal proceedings against (Rowley), in response to statements he made at a meeting. I have decided to represent him," he said.
Rowley said he was served pre-action protocol letters less than 24 hours after the meeting, giving him 21 days to respond.
He said, "In the Opposition, having seen what happened in the last two and a half years where the Prime Minister has led the charge to dismantle the National Security system, I received a letter and I shared it with you in Tunapuna last week."
Rowley was accused of being "callous, reckless, irresponsible and malicious to expose in Tunapuna confidential National Security information".
"Tonight, I have no money to pay costs. I know you going to pay it because I am defending you, the people of T&T, and I want this lawsuit to go to court because when it goes to court, I am looking forward to the witnesses, and today, I consulted my lawyer," he said on Tuesday night.
Rowley said that People's Partnership politicians could not be trusted to tell the public the truth on any issue and said the quality of the lives of citizens was being affected by the inability of ministers to properly manage the economy and get a handle on crime.
Rowley told supporters that his political party was ready for any election and called on Point Fortin residents to select suitable candidates to represent them.