Govt paid for ministers to attend CCJ hearings

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Even though they had no direct or significant purpose to the issues, six ministers were approved by Cabinet to attend hearings of the no-confidence motion and related cases before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) – a trip that was fully paid for by the Guyana Government.

Director General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon, explained that their purposes at the CCJ was to represent their government.

“The Government will, of course, have the legal attorneys who are presenting their case but very often in a courtroom, when a judge is dealing with a matter, he will look to see what is the interest or what the party’s interests is. In fact, if they don’t appear, if they appear and so on,” Harmon told reporters at a post-cabinet press briefing today.

Ministers George Norton, Sydney Allicock, Nicolette Henry, Tabitha Sarrabo-Halley and Haimraj Rajkumar travelled to Trinidad on May 9, 2019 while Minister Ronald Bulkan joined the party on May 10, 2019.

Harmon did not disclose the cost associated with the trip which was inclusive of accommodation and meals.

But he noted that the decision to send the ministerial delegation to the CCJ was after a “long and careful deliberation” at Cabinet.

The court proceedings at the CCJ were live-streamed for viewing.

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