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Tesheira on Clico issue: I thought matter was dropped
Former finance minister Karen Tesheira says the terms of reference in her letter from the Integrity Commission, while “vague and imprecise”, dealt with a conflict of interest with her role as Finance Minister and presiding over the bailout of a company in which she was a shareholder. She told the T&T Guardian that at no time during a meeting with the Integrity Commission did the issue of insider-trading come up. As far as Tesheira is concerned when she left the meeting at the Integrity Commission the matter was dropped.
She was unaware of the matter being referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Roger Gaspard.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar in her debate contribution to raise Government's debt=ceiling disclosed that the Integrity Commission had referred Tesheira’s decision to withdraw monies from the Clico Investment Bank (CIB) to the DPP. Persad-Bissessar had quoted from a letter addressed to Transport Minister Devant Maharaj from the commission's registrar, Martin Farrell, on September 8 that: “The Integrity Commission has conducted investigations into your complaint, re the above. “The matter has now been referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions for action as he deems necessary.”
While Tesheira acknowledges that the issue before the Integrity Commission is one of a breach in the Integrity in Public Life Act, she accuses the Prime Minister of trying to confuse the population with two issues — one being of conflict of interest and the other being on insider-trading. She said she supplied documents to the Integrity Commission to show that at no time did she act in the best interest of CL Financial but sought, as Minister of Finance, to act in the interest of the Government of T&T. The T&T Guardian obtained copies of those documents, one of which included minutes of a special meeting of the board of directors, called on Januray 31, at CL Financial’s head office on St Vincent Street.
That meeting was called by CLF chairman Lawrence Duprey to approve the MOU which was signed with the Government on January 30 on the advice of Duprey’s selected financial advisers, Stone Street Capital Limited and legal experts Daly and Partners.
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