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Rowley: Time to axe Jack
The Opposition is demanding the removal of Jack Warner as National Security Minister because he is “an embarrassment” to the country. Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley said there are matters concerning Warner which are still under investigation and he should be removed. Rowley has written to both the Integrity Commission about Warner’s “secret” bank account and to Commissioner of Police Dwayne Gibbs calling for an investigation of the matter.
“We demand that the Prime Minister (Kamla Persad-Bissessar) remove Jack Warner ... who is a constant embarrassment to the people of T&T,” he said at a news conference at Balisier House, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. Referring to Warner’s comments that he was not answerable to any politician Rowley said: “This is a wholly unacceptable situation. If Mr Warner was a private citizen and had taken the position that he would respond to no queries about his conduct we could not take issue with that. Mr Jack Warner holds the very important position of minister of government in T&T and from time-to-time he holds the position of head of the Cabinet.”
On Friday, Warner said he was not prepared to answer any questions about football matters. But yesterday, Rowley contended that Warner is subjected to the rules of the Integrity Commission for people in public life. “In this situation where he holds the position of a person in public life, he is subject to the law which governs the existence of the Integrity in Public Life Act. It is quite unacceptable for Mr Warner to want to hold public office and to take the position that he would be answerable to no one.
Last week, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) released a report on investigations into allegations of bribery by Caribbean Football Union (CFU) delegates when they visited T&T for a meeting at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad. In the CAS report Warner was described as an “unreliable witness.”
Rowley said there is need to investigate the matter to ensure there was no breach of law. “We in the PNM call on the police in T&T to conduct the necessary investigation, given the public information and evidence that was available in the public domain to ensure that no person, not specifically Mr Warner, that no person who might have broken our laws would have gotten away,” he said.
Regarding Warner’s “secret” bank account Rowley stated: “Any account Warner has, any such account which he has any interest $1 or more immediately falls under the interest of the Integrity Commission.” Asked whether he believed that the Integrity Commission is a toothless bulldog, Rowley said: “The Commission has its own challenges as it exists, but the law said there shall be a Commission, so I assume there is a Commission.”
Rowley added: “We’ve sent three pieces of correspondences to the Integrity Commission. We are writing the Commissioner of Police and copying the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) where we are calling on them to act in the face of the evidence in the public domain because our accusations are very clear.” he said.
In response to the Opposition Leader’s statements yesterday Communications Minister, Jamal Mohammed said: “Dr Rowley is entitled to his opinion. Let the process take place. As the Prime Minister had indicated, we stand with Mr Warner.”
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