Home / View Point / Martin Daly / Pictures and images: Daly wades into furore over Army training for Al-Rawi’s children

Pictures and images: Daly wades into furore over Army training for Al-Rawi’s children

I am satisfied that the restrictions on the use of firearms and prohibited weapons contained in the Firearms Act do not readily accommodate “threat assessment training” of politically exposed persons or their families involving the possession and use of firearms.

However we live in extraordinarily violent times in an unstable country. If such training took place in breach of the Firearms Act and if as full a disclosure of the facts as national security permits is given, the public will make its own judgment whether sufficient mitigating circumstances existed. The public might then overlook legal breaches that occurred when the public officials and their families were trained and treat such breaches as a lapse in judgment.

Photo: PNM Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi. (Copyright Elections.TT)
Photo: PNM Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi.
(Copyright Elections.TT)

The facts may be sufficiently mitigating even if such training went further than what may have been done in the past. My fellow columnist, Raffique Shah, a former military man, in the Trinidad Express on Tuesday last, put forward matters in mitigation.

The above sets the stage for my comments on Dr Roodal Moonilal’s publication in Parliament of pictures of two teenagers—said to be the children of the Attorney General—each holding what appears to be a high powered weapon at a location said to be an Army Camp in the course of a training exercise.

Comments on these photographs must, of necessity, be tempered because we do not have all the facts and we have not been given the benefit of any comprehensive official statement on the matter.

Against the background of what we do know, should the Attorney General, Mr Faris Al Rawi, resign his office as the Opposition is loudly insisting?

The offences, if any, would have been committed by the persons in possession of the firearms and those who transferred possession to them and not the office holders. The AG is not a likely subject of prosecution. There is also no question of constitutional propriety because the Constitution does not regulate the conduct of the Attorney General or any member of Cabinet.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago soldiers on the move during joint patrols with the police. (Copyright Baltimore Examiner)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago soldiers on the move during joint patrols with the police.
(Copyright Baltimore Examiner)

In this case, therefore, the true tests of whether any question of resignation arises are the requirement—although not a requirement of law—of office holders to have moral authority and whether, the image conveyed by the pictures reveals conduct on the part of the office holder repugnant to good governance.

Before going further, I would like to emphasise that a picture depicts or records its subject but it also conveys a visual perception. Persons looking at a picture may not visually perceive the same thing.

In my view, the image or visual perception of the pictures of the two gun-possessing youngsters are a key part of the problem presented for both the AG and the Army threat assessment trainers in the court of public opinion.

They did their case harm in that forum by a lack of understanding of the ill wind of deep-seated race and class divisions in this society, which inexorably led to a reaction that the photograph represented another example of privilege—permitting something for which more ordinary youngsters would be roundly condemned.

Neither displays of resentment at the disclosure of embarrassing facts nor emotional responses impress or suppress discerning public opinion.

For “ordinary”, read poor and not fair. These deep-seated divisions are in part fuelled by the manifest lack of objective justice in our country and regularly high-handed and unlawful treatment of citizens—like wrecking a vehicle when the driver is present or readily available to move it.

Photo: A car falls victim to the wrecker.
Photo: A car falls victim to the wrecker.

The core facts, as the Leader of the Opposition has stated, are already in the public domain. With the core facts regarding firearm possession already known, one must bear in mind that ultimately it is for the DPP to decide whether any prosecutions should be pursued on the basis of what is shown in the photographs, against those who were in possession of the weapons and those who transferred them.

Conflicts of interest are the enemy of good governance but—on the facts available and given the definitive nature of the photographs and confirmation that the army was the source of the weapons at a controlled location—I do not discern any conflict between the personal interest of the AG and the professional conduct of any of his duties.

He cannot now do much to procure a change in the record of what has happened.

To the extent that the children—said to be the AG’s children—were exposed, they were exploited for partisan political purpose. The Government responses to their exposure were emotional and lacked humility and an understanding of widespread feelings that justice is not objective.

This incident may have undermined the moral authority of the office of the Attorney General, but I doubt whether it has irrevocably impaired that authority or overthrown his ability to perform his duties.

It is probably a waste of time to recommend doing so but what about occasionally saying sorry for lapses of judgment?

Photo: Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi (right) shares his views at the Transparency Institute anti-corruption conference on 8 March 2016. (Copyright Shaun Rambaran/forge.co.tt)
Photo: Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi (right) shares his views at the Transparency Institute anti-corruption conference on 8 March 2016.
(Copyright Shaun Rambaran/forge.co.tt)

About Martin Daly

Martin Daly
Martin G Daly SC is a prominent attorney-at-law. He is a former Independent Senator and past president of the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago. He is chairman of the Pat Bishop Foundation and a steelpan music enthusiast.

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219 comments

  1. People focused on the call for resignation when in my view that was the least of the issues as we knew that was politics. Why didn’t we focus on the breach which was reckless and clearly the bigger issue.

  2. Well, this lead to the dead end we always expected…

  3. “There is also no question of constitutional propriety because the Constitution does not regulate the conduct of the Attorney General or any member of Cabinet.” hmmm…

  4. Because of this he is now Martin Nightly

  5. Martin Daly is singing for his supper. Maybe he’ll be the next president. Pnm supporters will of course turn a blind eye on this and as usual condone everything that is wrong and make them right. As normal blame the UNC

  6. If its OK well fuk it I’ll train myself but I’m not rich so I’ll be locked up those mp5,s the special service don’t even have it if was d nx government hell on dem but all allyuh have $ an above d fukin law .

  7. Sigh !
    I guess whether this action is right or wrong depends heavily on if you’re a “UNC fanatic or a PNM till yuh dead

  8. Very well articulated Martin Daly, thank you very much. Hopefully our citizens will form correct perceptions.

  9. And this is the same Daly who is rumored to be the proposed next President ? Right

  10. This is what I think of Daly’s comment..he’s a big joke. He’s the PNM.. Presidential hopeful. AND..Sharon Rowley works with him… So doh tell me shit about unbias report

  11. Who told Ann Arrindel..that sell Gary Griffith and Om Lalla..are UNC..madame that boat sailed a long time ago..didnt you get the memo

  12. Was dem in power when he children was taking traing

  13. If some of you could only read and understand the comments made by S.C. Daly you’ll would not post so many FOOLISH comments! Stop being MYOPIC! Some of you cannot even post a SENTENCE!
    A Sentence Is A Group Of Words That Make COMPLETE sense!

  14. Brian Harry, it is a matter of legality!

  15. I am not sure if Daly has had any association with the pnm in the past ( briefs etc) but I am sure a check will reveal the correct information.

  16. So Mr. Daly is saying that because of the crime situation in our country, nothing is wrong with the children of the ag using high powered weapons. So forget about the law. So is Daly saying that that because of the crime situation in our country, citizens can aquire guns from whatever source to defend themselves. Or is Daly saying that the law does NOT apply to the ag.

    • I didn’t think it was any of the above. I thought he was saying that although the law may have been broken here, the AG is unlikely to be the person responsible since he did not put the weapons in his children’s hands. :-/

    • But Lasana, don’t you think parents are responsible for their children’s actions, especially something like that. I don’t think that anyone will take the chance to put those weapons in the hands of the ag children without his permission. You see, the point is police and judges crucify d ordinary citizens having a 1gram of marijuana but make excuses for big people when they commit huge crimes. Why????

    • I think it is unreasonable to suggest, even if the AG was not present at the time, that he did not find out what happened with his children.
      And I find Faris’ suggestion that he could not make out his children in the photo to be farcical and insulting to the intelligence of the public.
      But I do feel there isn’t enough information now to say that Faris broke any law, apart from arguably making a fool of himself. Maybe the enquiry would shed more light if we are lucky. And I cannot say I am very hopeful.
      I think there is an issue here worth looking into. It’s just that Faris isn’t necessarily the target–yet!

    • When the PNM DO SOMETHING WRONG IT IS GOOD BUT IF ANOTHER PARTY HAS DONE THAT THEY WOULD OF SAID FIRE THEM

  17. Another disappointing piece from Daly

  18. The Rowley PNM.Govt us for the Uneducated unintelligent illiterate that’s why Eric Williams Brainwash and built Free LATRINE for them.Rowley appoint a blunt head Dunce Garcia to bloody.destroy the education.system he want it to.be like Haiti ,Guyana And Africa .yes Vote for the PNM Cults .Its a different Law For PNM.govt. Mins Family the are the PNM satanic CULT Royalties.The Rowley PNM.Govt is A bloody Wicked Evil Vindictive #LIAR The are bloody Satanic #HYPOCRITES But i hope God is Not Sleeping .Burnham.@Manning did not have a happy ending Rowley God was watching .

  19. Did the AG know and give consent to his children possessing firearms? If so then he may be have committed an offence.

    From viewing the photos, it appears as thought he children received some form of firearms instruction. If one looks at where they placed their fingers ( on the trigger guard) one would understand that usually for the untrained, it is almost a ‘reflex action’ to place your finger on the actual trigger. when one places their finger along the line of the trigger guard, it is a sign of some form of instruction,in firearms use.

    If the AG’s children received training, it must be asked if he received firearms training as well – he being the primary protected person. Is he the holder of a FUL?

    Did Stuart Young train with firearms? Is he an exempted person under the Firearms Act, or does he possess a FUL?

    If there was need under the threat assessment to give some form of instruction to the children of the protected person, would there be a greater need to give the protected person firearms training?

    Are the ‘kids’ being made into scapegoats?

  20. The children were holding guns. Don’t forget that…who is responsible for the childrem

  21. An excellent, objective and elucidating piece of writing

  22. Classic piece slight of hand wherein he attempts toonerate this illegal and he tries to absolve the AG from any responsibility of the children’s act.

    Like the AG, he does not acknowledge the children as the AG’s.

    Very good legalspeak to make the AG blameless and responsibilityless in this whole issue.

  23. Unbiased true but no mention of any breaches if any of the laws of Trinidad and Tobago and that is the fundamental issue.

  24. Martin Daly, thank you for being lucid, objective, forthright, analytical, logically sound, etc. This is not a matter of legality, but it is a matter of what is proper and contextually appropriate.

  25. yuh no if it was ah unc AG all of u woulda have ah different opinion one set ah bias ppl the children are under age who is blasted responsible for them

  26. Shame that Daly is so equivocal here. As a top of the line columnist and counsel, you’d want him to make a call and be more direct. Javeed’s report on this last Sunday provided the sort of clarity that this lacks, even if one is commentary and the other is reportage.

  27. O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive! Walter Scott
    Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/w/walterscot118003.html

  28. But- that was before I saw the actual statement calling for the AG to resign.

  29. This is how I saw it a few weeks ago;

    “The PP government set a threshold for resignation of ministers that was so high it was impossible to meet. Moonilal is in no position to call for any resignation. Until the UNC purges its members who presided over the PP regime it will find it difficult to be an effective opposition. Sadly the PNM sycophants who believe pictures of other children holding arms is an argument, are as effective as Moonilal on this score. The “lawful excuse” argument is not an answer either, as unlawful permission is not a lawful excuse. I think if the children were under the supervision of the DF, then someone in the DF dropped the ball. That doesn’t affect the position of the AG at all. And if that had been said 72 hours ago, this would have been a non -issue then. My point is it is sometimes more politically expedient to admit a minor error than to engage in crap that demeans the intelligence of the public.”

  30. Is the law optional Albert? Curiousity? Would you have said the same if it was Kamla’s grandson?
    The law is there to say what is allowed and what isn’t. If it isn’t allowed, then we have an issue.
    If the law is broken, then someone is culpable. Strange how the law can be applied brutally to “ordinary” folk but when it comes to certain people, the law isn’t applicable and probes are suddenly a waste of time.

  31. gun safety must always be taught,a gun has no brain it cannot think for its self.one must be able to distinguish what is a firearm,curiosity got the better of the children ,every one is fascinated by guns,probe for what wasting time

  32. The National Security Minister doesn’t even know if his boss is Rowley or Carmona. So don’t tell me what a soldier or policeman says. Show me the constitution that we ALL live by–police and army included.

  33. Depends Albert Edwards. Is the military facility in Trinidad and Tobago or Iraq?
    I can’t believe you really thought of that question. What you should ask is why should children be on the firing range in the first place and what that is legal. And the answer is it is not.
    Show me different in the constitution.

    • Additionally what are the practical purposes. They will never have these weapons at their disposal, unless of course Albert and others know something I don’t. As such this , in my view is also a matter of what is “proper” and “appropriate “.

    • Brian Harry…from Gary Griffith’s comment on that obvious issue, he suggested in a scenario where security is taken out, the children have familiarity with the weapons used by security to defend themselves.

  34. ok convince me that on a military facility or a shooting range that the act is applicable

  35. So suppose I have a licensed firearm, is it okay for me to train my children to use my gun because I think there is a credible threat?
    What if I got a police partner to say it was okay? Then I would be fine?

  36. Albert Edwards,if we do not hold those in high office to account,then we will continue to suffer all the ills of which you speak,sir.

  37. I don’t see any excerpt saying: “Unless a soldier thought it was okay.”
    Do rules matter in this country or do they not?
    Are soldiers allowed to overrule law in Trinidad and Tobago? Is this war time?

  38. Lance and Albert: “The Children’s Act of 2012, Part III:
    8. (1) A person who gives, sells, lends or rents a
    firearm or ammunition to a child commits an offence
    and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of fifty
    thousand dollars and to imprisonment for ten years.”

  39. we make a hue and cry ,lives are lost every day,we don’t spare a thought to the victims and their families,long delays in trials ,people in the remand yard suffering ,the society is under siege,unless you own property in Miami where you could flee or holding a green card,how many inquires are outstanding and cannot be submitted,this is my discourse on this matter .

  40. It could only be put to rest when the police and army finish their investigations,Albert.

    • AS far as I am aware, there isn’t a police investigation, and why not? If the weapon in the picture was loaded, as suggested by some who know better than I, and if they were allowed to use them, is the base like the Vatican where they have their own laws on foreign soil or are they expected to comply with the law of the land?

  41. lol.Albert Edwards allyuh does make me laugh yes.Yuh spout yuh nonsense bout Jericho,I find the information,now yuh want to put it to rest(lol).Go and study yuh criminology ,pardna.See if yuh couldhelpoutde police here(lol)

  42. yes Lance Noel time to put this to rest,there are more burning issues to elucidate on ,the lack of a DNA gathering legislation,the hiring of persons with scientific degrees and a system of accelerated promotion,these are excerpts from my criminology thesis which will be submitted very soon

  43. Albert Edwards,yuh satisfied?

  44. Weapons were not loaded—army

    Shaliza Hassanali
    Published:
    Friday, October 14, 2016

    Major Al Alexander
    Senior Public Affairs Officer of the Defence Force, Major Al Alexander has confirmed an investigation has been launched into the leaked photographs of the Attorney General Faris Al-Rawis’ children training with high-powered guns at Camp Cumuto, promising there will be no “cover-up” in the controversial matter.

    Yesterday, Alexander said a senior military officer had started an investigation but could not say when it would be concluded since “more than a dozens persons” who were at Camp Cumuto during the training exercise would have to be questioned.

    Al-Rawi, who initially refused to confirm whether the children in the photographs were his, first defended himself by saying his family had been invited by the Defence Force for a threat assessment after he received deaths threats soon after entering office.

    But Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley took it a step further on Wednesday when he lambasted the soldier who would have taken the photos and leaked it to Moonilal, saying he would have put the AG’s children at risk.

    In explaining yesterday what transpired at the training session, Alexander said “none of the principals—Mr Al-Rawi, his wife and kids—none of them took part in the exercise. There was a training session for the operatives. The purpose of them being there was for them to understand in particular emergencies what is done. They would have a level of competency and the capabilities of the operators. So it was really for them to observe.”

    So how did the guns get into the hands of Al-Rawi’s children?

    Alexander said similar to how the Defence Force did their career guidance sessions, there would be a certain level of curiosity.

    “In our perspective, these are weapons that in emergencies would have to be used. We don’t want children being shell shocked and freezing when they need to move. It was really to remove the fear and apprehension. We allowed them to hold it (gun).”

    In the course of holding the weapons for a few seconds at the end of the exercise, Alexander said strict supervision was adhered to and the “magazines were emptied.”

    Also contacted yesterday, former chief of defence staff, Major General Ralph Brown, said he agreed with Rowley for rapping the army on the knuckles for breach of trust after the photos surfaced online.

    “If it is that there was a soldier involved in that detail that provided those things (photographs) that is a breach of confidence. It means now that the army is getting involved in politics which we never did in my time.”

    • Thanks Lance. Still a little double speak from the military but I guess with all the furore that is expected. On the one hand he said they were curious. Then he said they needed to hold the weapons so that if anything happened they wouldn’t be shell-shocked and know what to expect. Don’t really matter though as they were clearly allowed/required to handle the weapon under military supervision.

    • No no Rose-Marie. This is not a matter of military supervision. The military does not decide what is legal and what isn’t. The courts do. It doesn’t matter what anyone in the military says at all.
      This is a legal issue and not a military issue.

    • Lasana Liburd…I am not sure but what does the military have to do with individual threat assessment? Doesn’t the police service have special branches to deal with those situations? Just seeking some clarity!

  45. looking for Jericho,he ain’t day you cant find it Lance Noel time to close the books

  46. I’m looking for it now Rose- Marie.

  47. So Lance this implies they were not really required to handle the weapons and were merely being entertained? I’m not sure the exact circumstances of the “training” were ever made public. Daly himself hinted at this. I don’t remember reading any account or report that implied that they were just required to “look on” but I could be wrong.

  48. children of public personalities are at risk so evasive trainging and response mechanism is offered to all ,what is moonilal case what illegality that he is suggesting,why should the Ag reply to a well timed political ambush,no need for him to demit office,the matter is closed

  49. But Rose-Marie, it is illegal for children to handle guns in T&T. So no matter Moonilal’s motives, clearly something is wrong with this picture.
    It was not the best avenue for him to raise it. It would have been as legitimate after the budget. Or maybe he would have had trouble tabling something that allowed him to show photos in parliament otherwise.
    But even though Faris didn’t break the law, someone else might have in a matter that involved the AG’s children. I think that makes it an issue.

    • I know but Daly’s opening paragraphs set the context. The firearms act does not make provision for it but these are extraordinary times in a violent and unstable country so I guess the act should be revisited to accommodate for this type of scenario for exposed office holders. So if that is the basis on which the AG should express remorse then it still seems a little superficial to me because he was not the instigator. I guess he could have said no I can’t let my kids touch weapons because it is illegal but if the CDS recommended it I don’t know how wise it would have been to decline. Also according to Raffique don’t young cadets of a similar age handle weapons?
      So I agree it is an issue but not really for the AG in the context that he should be apologizing or expressing humility. I think they should revisit the legislation and make make a provision for this type of scenario.

    • Lasana who gave the children permission to go to the range?

    • But the Childrens Act of 2012 does eh

    • Lasana, just a point of correction….. while it is illegal for children to handle guns etc., on a military compound, those laws are not necessarily applicable. If you read the Raffique Shah article in the week, while the law says 25 and over, Police, Defence Force, Prisons etc all recruit from 18 years old…. and they are all trained in and issued weapons for their regular duties. Additionally, Cadets in every school where they’re use weapons in training and they actually fire the weapons at times….and they are from 12 years old….. and none of those instances are illegal!!! Plus, as pointed out, they did not actually fire the weapons!!

    • There’s a section of the Act that deals specifucally with Cadets, but they dont practice with high powered rifles

    • All of this is saying to me that the laws need to be revisited in light of new requirements for political families to undergo military training. Clearly both theb Children’s Act and the Firearms Act need review. Trying to throw the AG under the bus for an exercise that was recommended and supervised by the military is clutching a straws. It’s a waste of time. The only reason the opposition raised the issue in the first place is because they figured it would reflect badly on the AG. My view is the Defense Force has more to answer for than the AG even if as a parent he had to give permission for his kids to undertake the “training”. I disagree with Daly that the AG should appear humble and apologetic.

    • He is the AG and assuming he knows the law, he authorises his children to visit a shooting rage and handle high power rifles, not even a normal pistol?

    • Brent, Raffique can give an opinion on this like any other citizen. But this is a legal matter and not a military matter. You better believe the laws of the country are applicable in the barracks. No real country would have it otherwise. In fact they are more bound to the rules of law than anywhere else.
      If our armed forces don’t obey the law of the land then what chance does the country have?
      Brent, I was a cadet for three years and never fired a gun. What we did was march around for two days a week with heavy old empty Mark 4 rifles and exercises.
      Yes, there was a camp as well which including a shooting range–as I was told. That’s like once a year. I didn’t go. But don’t make it sound like cadets are a miniature army.
      Now, it might well be that the law needs to be changed. And who better than the AG to lead that change?
      What you do is you take it to Cabinet and show why change is necessary in a transparent manner. Thereby eliminating the need for anyone to show a photo with your children secretly and illegally training with firearms.

    • Rose-Marie, Daly spoke to a lack of humility and I think he was suggesting that the PNM’s response was ignorant of our growing intolerance with a privileged class for whom the rules of law don’t apply.
      Now it may or may not prove to be the case that the law was broken here. Maybe we will find out eventually. Most likely we won’t.
      But tuned-in leadership would have understand immediately what the potential repercussions of those photos were. And he suggested, to my reading of his column, that the PNM failed to appreciate why there might be an issue here.

    • There was also talk that theTTDF regularly have children over for various reasons. When they do, part of the exercise allows these children to handle weapons under supervision. As I understand it people in the know have said that it is clear that the weapons have no ammo. Whatever comes out of this will affect these regular efforts by the TTDF in the future. It is also disingenuous to compare kids under the supervision of the TTDF with kids in hot spot areas holding illegal weapons that are ready for firing. For this reason alone I would consider this matter a non-issue because this is a regular activity of the TTDF in its outreach programmes.

    • The military and the police, among others, regularly have career fairs and at some of them they have weapons on display and they do allow the public to interact with them (of course they are all unloaded) in fact, last week there was a front page picture in the Guardian of one such child, dressed in full police battle gear…..with an officer there for supervision….. my point is, while the law is clear…. there are instances where activities take place that the law would not apply to.

    • And that is the problem with Trinidad. Any statement that goes: “The law is clear BUT…”
      For any country to work, you either respect the law or you don’t. Judy-ann, for me regular wrongdoing is no excuse. Wasn’t that what they said with the speed gun? How can anyone breaking the law–repeatedly or otherwise–be a non-issue?
      The fact that it is the police and army makes it worse. If we can’t count on them to set an example and to understand the value of the law then how is this a real country?

    • I keep saying it’s not a real country, we pretending to be grown up

    • Lasana I take your point about the leadership being “tuned out” to the public intolerance of what might be perceived of class and rank privilege. Especially after the constant pissing in our faces by office holders from the president to the CJ and others. You have people asking questions like “so if I find my children under threat I should go and ask the army for training”. Or comparing the AG’s children holding guns to juvenile gangsters holding guns. These demonstrate a level of dissonance. For that reason I guess the leadership should have been more tempered in their response and tried to address the core issue. But Moonilal pull their strings real tight!

    • The last thing on my mind is Moonilal though. For me, if someone is asked a question about conduct in public office, they should answer with a certain level of respect for their post and the responsibilities of their post.
      They could cuss Moonilal how much they want on their own time.
      If we the people have a question, give us a respectful response. Even as you’re clarifying something. That’s good service. The kind we would expect anywhere that we are spending our money.

    • I agree. That’s why I said Moonilal pulled their strings. They really reacted to his nastiness instead of giving a measured response. But that was mostly yuh hot mouth PM 😀

    • It is probably very easy to lose sight of things like that when you’re PM and surrounded by people telling you every day that you’re God’s gift to the country.
      But you’ve got to value critics when you’re in those sort of roles. Everyone needs balance.
      This is me giving him the benefit of the doubt here that he wasn’t intentionally trying to confuse the public or simply can’t control that hot mouth of his. Lol.

    • To be honest I doubt he was deliberately trying to confuse the issue. Remember it was Moonilal who made it all about Al Rawi and his children. The core issue is really the reach of powers of the Army brass and how do they effectively protect the families of the highly exposed executive. I doubt the source of the pictures was Al Rawi family themselves. So that is another angle that needs to be looked at. How did those pictures of what we can assume is a sensitive exercise end up in the opposition’s hands. But Moonilal obviously touched a nerve. And while “righteous indignation” at the manner in which the whole incident was exposed is understandable, I think Hot Mouth really should have explored all angles before shooting off (pardon the pun). As you said it’s really a legal issue not a moral one.

    • Lasana, I have not looked at the specific law but I await the TTDF Enquiry which will certainly clarify this going forward, at least so I hope.

    • Lolol Judy-ann, after they’ve bought out the CDS last months? But all the same, I too am hoping the TTDF expose the whole lot

    • If you are looking for any organization in this or any country to have whistleblowers. Your last choice would usually be the Army.

    • Not that they don’t. But it is surely the most difficult environment to have an independent mind and clear conscience.

    • Lasana, after members of the TTDF were thrown under the bus without facts first, I would hope they would expose the whole lot

    • Trinis always put their imaginary future against their real past when making such decisions.

    • I would like to know if this sort of “scenario training” was ever offered to the children of other ministers or AGs in the past. At least we could know how long they have been breaking the law if in fact they did. It would also out to rest the whole “class” and color side issue. To me the defense force initial response has already been inconsistent. They mentioned the exercise involved their own staff but the children were curious and that’s how they happened to handle the weapons. Then they tried to explain that they needed to be more hands on so they wouldn’t be shell-shocked I and panic if something happened. 2 different versions by the same person .

    • Rose-Marie Ingrid Lemessy-Forde it was reported in the news by 2 former AGs that they did receive threats while in office but never got any training for themselves nor their families. So far, no other Minister came forward and said that they were afforded such tarining

    • Rose-Marie Ingrid Lemessy-Forde, if you read the whole thread I think you will find someone saying this has not been done in the past

    • The whole idea seems to be that if an armed assailant is able to wipe out the AG’s security detail and the AG himself that the children would be expected to then pick up arms and outdo the adults and armed assailants.
      Or is there another way this could play out that I haven’t considered?
      Steups. Might as well teach the children crisis negotiation instead. Of the “Our Father” prayer.

    • Lol. They watching too much Liam Neeson and Denzil Washington movies!

    • Lol. Our imagination always seems to kick in during damage limitation exercises.

    • Rose-Marie Ingrid Lemessy-Forde…from my understanding, the young lady posted the picture on fb, apparently for a short time, and that is how it came into the public domain to be used. I also believe the picture was taken almost a year before, in November of 2015, if I recall correctly. Granted, children of publicly exposed persons should be off limits, but I guess in this instance, it may have been necessary to make the point-that is, confirm identity, weapon, and whether it was loaded. Read comments from those who know better that apparently it was.

  50. The Ag when asked about the photos,took no ownership of the children.It was the PM,who went to the parliament and took amouthful to the security forces for giving pics to the opposition.

  51. Rose Marie,according to major Alexander of the army,neither the AG nor his family was involved in any training,but were merely invited to observe the operatives who guard them,going through different scenarios.

  52. I’m not sure I’m with Mr. Daly fully on this analysis. First of all..his last line about saying sorry for a lapse in judgment. .was that for the AG or Moonilal? My first pick is Moonilal who exercised bad judgment in choosing to parade the children soley for the AG and his kids to be ridiculed. And secondly his take about the govt. response being emotional and lacking in humility I’m not getting. I mean if the military in their judgement directed or recommended this training for his children due to the “threat assessment” who am I as AG to decline? Should he humbly apologize for subjecting his children to the training? Granted he may have misread the mood of the average Joe in making this whole thing a class/race issue or privilege issue and maybe the “righteous indignation” response to Moonilal’s crassness did not sit well with people who have an axe to grind. But Daly said it himself..the “discerning” people would see through the fluff anyway.

  53. Who is the individual,Albert Edwards?

  54. The individual who sent the photos i am sorry for his arse,

  55. ”Sorry there was a lapse in judgement on our part.The kids were just curious about the weapons used in the training.”.End of text.Instead,we go into politician mode,trying to deceive.

  56. We’re trying to rationalise politics.Wouldn’t the pNM have done the same thing ,if there was a pic of AG Ramlogans’s son,holding a high powered rifle?

  57. within the confines of state security there are some practices that are kept within the bosoms of those involve,that exposure will put a lot of persons life in great danger,such information is classified and has been seen as normal,waving the photos simply for purposes of gaining attention ,i have deplored,do we know all those who are members of the TRA and those of private shooting rangers,the MP was reckless in his presentation of the facts

  58. ”what about occasionally saying sorry for lapses of judgement”?That’s all.Instead evrybody trying to do a Sunil Narine,by trying to spin.

  59. Did you folks read and understand,senior counsel’s last line?

  60. moonilal as usual set up an ambush and glorifying the gore that usually accompanies such even ,i take senior counsel advice this is a non issue,the member of parliament must remember those come for equity must come with clean hands.

  61. Politically tone deaf and arrogant vs exploitative and reckless. Pretty good synopsis of either party to me.

  62. Thank You S.C.Martin Daly for your objective and unbiased opinion. You have always been truthful and objective. The true hallmark of a man! Supporters of any political party must not be blinded by loyalty. It’s better by far to be honest with our leaders. In the end, they all see through your pretense and respect you less!

    • Thos is a lawyer. Lawyers always have two opinions.
      He is here trying to exonerate an act that illegal under the laws we live under.
      You seem to agree with this lawbreaking.

    • You seem to agree with this lawbreaking?! Lawyers always have two opinions?! Probably those with whom you are acquainted. I’ve never met the man Mr. Daly, BUT, when he speaks or comment, EVERYONE LISTENS! There are NO DISSENTING VOICES! Under what ROCK you came from?! Apparently, YOU cannot understand or comprehend S.C. Daly’s LEGAL OPINION. AND, I DO NOT SUFFER FOOLS GLADLY! BYE!

    • You are a lawless person???? Are you a lawyer looking for some wuk from d pnm???

    • Narry Singh, to answer your question NO I am not a lawless person! Secondly, I’m not a lawyer and I am not looking for WUK whatever that implies. I wish to categorically state, as a person of African/Mixed DESCENT or WHATEVER, I’ve benefited more from the UNC under BASDEO PANDAY, than any PNM Government. I DARE say, those of East Indian Descent is MUCH KINDER TO ME! As a matter of fact, I’ve NEVER received A THING FROM THE PNM! I AM NOT THAT FORTUNATE! However, I’ve experienced first hand the NATURE of the UNC’S style of Politics AND I’ve decided to lay my BUCKET down with the PNM! THERE’S NO GENUINE AFFECTION FOR PEOPLE OF AFRICAN DESCENT IN THE UNC! I SAY THAT WITHOUT MALICE OR ILL WILL. IS THE PNM PERFECT?! DEFINITELY NOT! I WAS DISCRIMINATED AGAINST BY VIRTUE OF MY ILL HEALTH. NEVERTHELESS, THAT ACTION WAS AS A RESULT OF ONE INDIVIDUAL. I WILL GO EVEN FURTHER TO SUGGEST, THAT THERE ARE GOOD, LAW ABIDING, DECENT PEOPLE OF EAST INDIAN DESCENT, AS WELL AS OF AFRICAN DESCENT! OUR FAITH AND BELIEF IN GOD WILL GUIDE US TO THOSE WHO MEAN US WELL! IN closing, I Honestly Believe That The Hon. Prime Minister Dr. Rowley Will In Time Bring About The Necessary Changes SOO Badly Needed In Trinidad And Tobago For The Benefit Of All!

  63. Non issue..as far as I’m concerned…

  64. According to everything I have seen, the AG was not present when these pictures were taken therefore there was no lapse of judgement on his part, or am I missing something?!

    • Thanks, Lasana Liburd…the strength of the secrecy culture is frightening…

    • We have to start seeing these people as flesh and blood and not some sort of quasi-gods. Nothing against Faris or any other politician.
      But they are simply not above the law and we have to ensure that they know it, otherwise we are enablers in their misconduct.

    • Agreed ! If he was there he still would be barred from speaking on the issue .

    • Barred from speaking on the issue? Based on the Las Vegas convention of what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas? Lol.
      Our leaders are accountable for their behaviour at all times. Since when is what Faris’ kids get up a matter of national security that could destabilise the country if it went public?

    • Lasana Liburd speaking on the issue I will view as an attempt to publicly influence any investigation into the subject matter. I do not expect anything to come out of both investigations. These office holders are not independent based on how they are appointed to those positions. Cabinet calls the shots. That is a serious problem here, as our Public Servants who are responsible for these investigations, depends on the Government in office for promotion, buying out of vacation and extension beyond their retirement date. This effectively kills all investigations. The Army launched an investigation. An extension was given last week without any reasonable justification to the head of the organization. the government is saying tighten we belt, the country has no money. What would a reasonable person infer from the extension given in light of the ongoing investigation by the Army? We need an Act to make these positions independent. The UK passed one such Act a few years ago. Statements already uttered will skew the investigations.

  65. All I read was fluff and evasion of responsibility

  66. So were the kids kidnapped and taken to the range? Are they allowed to go with anyone without asking permission of their parents?

  67. An obscure law appears to have been broken and the opposition using it to make some political gains.
    The law was so obscure that the DF and AG appear to not be aware of it.
    Not enough justification for a resignation.
    The Defence Force and AG may be culpable and admit mistakes made under the circumstances that the present environment warranted some of the exercises.

    We get on with governing the country.

  68. All it may have taken was to say sorry for a lapse in judgement .

  69. First off
    This was a budget debate.
    What purpose would the presentation if those pics serve besides distraction from a lack of real contribution…

  70. Earl Best

    Martin, You have very neatly contrived to side-step the issue of Moonilal’s motives and the repeated calls from Kamla and co. for the AG to resign. Is Faris on to something that may cost them (the UNC) in the end?

    A nice ironic twist to this matter, considering that it was FAW’s need for increased security that triggered it in the first place, no?