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Rowley not worried about THA lawsuit
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowely has described the threat of a $200 million lawsuit from UK investors as “no sweat.” Rowley, who is in Tobago for the upcoming Tobago House of Assembly (THA) election, said the law must take its course and people should not be too quick to cast aspersions.
Also describing the matter as a “non-issue,” Rowley said yesterday: “All government agencies face the threat of lawsuits, so I really don’t see what all the fuss is about. Right now the government is facing a series of lawsuits. This is nothing new.” He said, however, with the election a mere two weeks away, it seemed whoever released the information to the media was trying to score points by politicising the issue.
“It’s very curious this would be released at the time when the election is so very close. Obviously they would have had their motive,” Rowley added. He said there were also attempts to turn the issue into an “Orville London matter.” “But Mr London does not own the THA, and people need to realise this. He alone does not belong in the THA.
This is a state issue.” Urging that the legal process should be followed, Rowley said it was also unwise for people to jump to conclusions on who was wrong and who was right. He also accused Attorney General Anand Ramlogan of “sharing out briefs,” which must be justified to the public. Senior attorney Donna Prowell was hired by Ramlogan as lead counsel.
Prowell wrote to THA chief secretary Orville London on Monday, asking to meet with him to discuss the matter, as UK solicitors will be flying into Trinidad next Monday to seek settlement and resolution on the issue. In response, Ramlogan said he was not surprised by Rowley’s “flippant and casual comments.”
“I call upon Dr Rowley and Mr London to come clean with all the facts, because allegations of this nature could not only cost the State hundreds of millions in litigation, but also ruin our image as an investor-friendly country. “Dr Rowley and Mr London are trying to brush aside this issue— but I suppose $200 million is a drop in the bucket compared to how much Mr London has squandered over the years.”
The Attorney General maintained he had no prior knowledge of the issue until he received a preaction protocol letter from the investors. He could not say when he received the letter. Contacted yesterday, Prowell said she had discussions with lawyers representing the THA yesterday. “Discussions went well and we are working towards a joint approach to have this matter settled,” she added.
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