National Security Minister Stuart Young. NICOLE DRAYTON

Minister of National Security, Stuart Young MP, has stood by his statements concerning the “aiding and abetting” of the illegal entry into this country of Venezuelan migrants.

In a brief response to the Law Association’s statement, in which the LATT warned the minister and the prime minister about making derogatory statements against lawyers doing their jobs, Minister Young stated: “Lawyers are not above question or the law”.

Following is the full text of the statement issued by the Minister…

MEDIA STATEMENT: LAWYERS NOT ABOVE THE LAW

Port of Spain: I refer to a statement issued today, December 28, 2020, by the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago. I respond as follows:

“Lawyers are not above question or the law. It is legitimate for anyone to ask how certain lawyers seem to have access to illegal immigrants without physically meeting with them to get instructions. The question arises: how are they getting instructions, and from whom?

These illegal migrants to whom the Law Association refers would have broken laws in both Venezuela and in Trinidad and Tobago when entering our country, as both borders are closed and they have not been granted permission to enter Trinidad and Tobago. It is a criminal offence to enter our borders without the requisite authorization.

The question must be asked and should be answered: how are these lawyers communicating with persons illegally entering our country and is there facilitation of human smuggling and possibly human trafficking taking place?

For the Law Association to simply state, as it often does, “let law enforcement look into the matter if laws are being broken”, does not prevent anyone from asking whether lawyers are aiding and abetting in criminal acts.

I renew my question, as I witnessed what was being said by a certain lawyer: how did that lawyer know exactly where the illegal migrants were? And how was she able to say categorically that they were not in Trinidad and Tobago waters?

And, I ask further: if someone had knowledge that persons were illegally attempting to enter our borders and they were facilitating this breach of our laws, isn’t that aiding and abetting human smuggling?

I view these matters as very serious and as legitimate questions to be asked and I repeat that in my view, no one, not even the members of the Law Association are above the law.”

Stuart R. Young, MP
Minister of National Security