Former Attorney General Anand Ramlogan has filed a constitutional claim challenging a High Court judge’s decision to grant warrants to tap his phones as part of a police investigation into witness tampering allegations against him.
He has alleged that his constitutional rights to equality before the law and respect for private and family life were breached when Justice Gillian Lucky granted the warrants.
Court documents filed by Ramlogan’s legal team contend that the issuance of the warrants was unlawful, as was the retrieval and collection of communications data pursuant to the warrants under the Interception of Communications Act (IOCA); and that there was an apparent bias by Justice Lucky with whom he had had a public disagreement while she was Police Complaints Authority (PCA) Director.
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The judge issued a total of ten interception orders in May 2015 and May 2019.
Ramlogan’s lawyers argue that the wrong procedure for obtaining the warrants under the IOCA, and the Indictable Offences (Preliminary Enquiry) Act (IOPEA) was used.
“The essence of these complaints is that the State misapplied primary legislation, namely the IOCA to secure access to private telecommunications data belonging to the accused and that upon being pointed out, wrongfully and in bad faith misused the warrant process under Section 5 of the IOPEA,” the filing states.
Ramlogan’s constitutional claim, which has delayed the start of the preliminary inquiry into his criminal case, came up for hearing before Justice Nadia Kangaloo on Wednesday.
The former AG is accused of obstructing justice by using threats and bribery to persuade PCA Director David West to not give evidence in his [Ramlogan’s] defamation case against the then Opposition Leader Dr. Keith Rowley; and misbehaving in public office by improperly endeavoring for West not to testify on Rowley’s behalf, in October 2014.
In addition to being the subject of an investigation that began in February the following year, Ramlogan was fired by then Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
He was eventually charged in 2017.
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