Anand Ramlogan, former attorney general of Trinidad and Tobago and lead attorney for Speaker of the House Julian Willock in his legal dispute with Mark Vanterpool, was arrested yesterday in Trinidad, according to the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian.

The website reported that Mr. Ramlogan was detained at 4:15 a.m. at Piarco International Airport in Trinidad shortly before boarding a flight en route to the Virgin Islands, where he was scheduled to appear in court on Mr. Willock’s behalf.

It added that the arrest came following “allegations of kickbacks and money laundering linked to high legal fees paid during the attorney general’s tenure.”

The ruling on Mr. Willock’s legal dispute with Mr. Vanterpool over the Fourth District vacancy in the House of Assembly is scheduled for today.

Willock’s response

In a press release yesterday, Mr. Willock, whose legal fees are covered by the government, said he had retained the services of local law firm Veritas Law, which he said “has four lawyers, plus a paralegal directly involved in the case, in addition to others providing legal advice.”

Mr. Willock previously told the Beacon that his legal team included five people: Mr. Ramlogan; St. Kitts and Nevis Director of Public Prosecutions Valston Graham; Jared Jagroo; Christopher Joseph; and Cherise Archibald.

In court, however, Mr. Ramlogan has been the main lawyer who has spoken on behalf of Mr. Willock.

‘Value for money’

The speaker said in the press release that he “has reaffirmed his full confidence in Veritas Law, headed by Mr. Valston M. Graham, and that value for money is still being achieved.”

The statement did not name Mr. Ramlogan, though it stated, “The issue surrounding one of the lawyers involved in the case, as reported by the media, both locally and regionally [yesterday], has also been noted.”

Attempts to obtain more information from Mr. Willock were not immediately successful.

Legal fees

The Trinidad Express reported that Mr. Ramlogan is being questioned over the more than $140 million in legal fees paid by the Trinidad and Tobago AG’s office during his tenure from 2010-2015.

Mr. Ramlogan sued Trinidad’s then-opposition leader Keith Rowley in 2012 after Mr. Rowley questioned him about the payments. He later dropped the lawsuit.

There are seven active investigations into the legal fees that Mr. Ramlogan approved, according to the Guardian. The former attorney general is also facing charges of misbehaviour in public office and perverting the course of justice related to allegations of witness tampering involving the director of the Police Complaints Authority in a defamation lawsuit that Mr. Rowley filed against Mr. Ramlogan.