Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley
DIEGO MARTIN – PRIME Minister Dr Keith Rowley says it appears the Law Association has a problem with Chief Justice Ivor Archie’s lifestyle.
He also questioned the political affiliation of the Law Association and said a lack of evidence was the main reason he did not invoke Section 137 of the Constitution to initiate a tribunal to investigate the Chief Justice’s conduct.
Rowley was speaking at the installation of the PNM’s Diego Martin West constituency executive on Sunday.
He said there was no evidence before him or his advising lawyer about the CJ’s lifestyle.
Rowley said, “All of them who you see carrying on with this story about the Chief Justice, they have a problem with the Chief Justice’s lifestyle, it was never recorded and presented to me.”
He added, “But they wanted to use me as Prime Minister to carry out their private and secret talks. I am not involved in that. Yet he who has something to say come out and say it and he who has something to do, come out and do it and that goes for media too.”
Rowley has rejected calls by the Law Association to investigate the Chief Justice for at least two matters – that he wanted to persuade judges to change their State-provided security to a company in which his friend Dillian Johnson worked and that he requested state housing for three people by allegedly directly approaching the prime minister.
Last week Rowley said he was not going to take any action against the CJ after he received legal advice on the matter. That advice was later revealed to be that of Queen’s Counsel Howard Stevens.
Slamming the Law Association on Sunday, Rowley said, “That is not the new society that we are trying to build. The new society that we are trying to build is one that would have a Law Association that would know that it ought to be at the behest, at the call, at the coming and going of a corrupt political party.
“The society we are trying to build is not one where the legal fraternity is one where a handful of people with a serious political agenda could call a meeting of the Law Association.”
He added, “This one bring 20 of his party members, that one bring 10 out of 4,000 lawyers thereabout, 150 vote to remove the Chief Justice.”