How much does the State owe you?


Opposition Senator Wade Mark at Thursday’s news conference at the Office of the Opposition Leader in Port of Spain. – SUREASH CHOLAI

OPPOSITION Senator Wade Mark wants newly appointed Attorney General Reginald Armour to declare how much money he and his firm are owed for work done for the State for the past two years.

At a media conference at the Opposition Leader’s office, Charles Street, Port of Spain on Thursday afternoon, Mark said Armour would have received over $10 million up to 2020 for work done for the State and wanted to know how much he was owed since.

He also questioned if Armour will pay himself the money owed now that he is AG and whether his chambers, Marie de Vere Chambers, will be given any State briefs.

Mark also asked whether Armour and former AG Faris Al-Rawi were business partners, highlighting a property in Port of Spain where the two were both shareholders between 2004 to 2008. Armour handed over his share to Claude and Kathryn Denbow in 2008. Al-Rawi, according to Mark, added his wife as part owner of the share in the property at the corner of Abercromby and Oxford Street.

“We need full disclosure, we need transparency. We need accountability. How much is still owed to Reginald Armour? These are questions the public will like to have answers on.”

Al-Rawi, Mark claimed, had a “clique of lawyers” who got briefs which he described as a “legal cabal” and asked if Armour will do likewise.

Newsday asked about former attorney general Anand Ramlogan admitting to a similar practice, Mark said: “We have to deal with principles. If something was wrong then, we are saying to you now we are asking the incoming attorney general whether he is going to do…”

Mark ended his comment abruptly before changing the subject to his surprise that Armour, who he never saw on a political platform, was now, in his eyes, a PNM attorney.

Also at the media conference was Sean Sobers who said under Ramlogan there was equity in who received state briefs while the opposite took place under Al-Rawi.

Sobers added that the Cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday was a clear demotion for Al-Rawi who traded a pen for a shovel as he moved from AG to Local Government Minister. He added that the move suggests that the Prime Minister no longer had confidence in Al-Rawi.

Both Sobers and Mark said Al-Rawi’s removal was a form of “good-riddance” and was something that should have been done a while ago.

Mark added that given the “tight relationship” between Armour and Al-Rawi, it was an exchange and not a replacement.

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