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Trinidad: Independent senator: Wire-tapping law can be used against Opposition

INDEPENDENT Senator Dr Varma Deyalsingh said new legislation could be used against members of the Opposition.

“Is it far fetched? I say no. Because even if you look at the paragon of democracy the US you will remember the Watergate scandal where persons went to spy on (their) opposition in (their) headquarters.

“So the fact remains once there are persons in power there will always be the tendency to abuse that power, to misuse it. So we have to look at certain avenues to implement to curtail that or prevent that. And (in TT) it goes both ways, it goes on both sides.”

He was contributing to debate on the Interception of Communications (Amendment) Bill in the Senate Tuesday.

He said the solution to prevent abuse was to make requirements for interception a little more difficult, and he was alarmed that the amendment had been changed to allow a constable to access the information (instead of an authorised authority) and he felt this was a “watering down” of the legislation.

He pointed out in the judiciary the Law Association has questioned the actions of the Chief Justice, judges have made comments about the “runnings” of the Judiciary, and there were claims that people would want a case heard in South to get a desired result. He said there could be the case involving a past Opposition member and allegations that the judge is biased, and he suggested that instead of the authorities applying to one judge they should have to apply to three – one in North, one in Tobago and one in South.

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