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Govt still probing Hafizool’s credentials
Investigations into the validity of Dr Hafizool Ali Mohammed’s credentials are continuing, although he has defiantly declared he is not stepping down from the commission of enquiry into the 1990 coup attempt, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has said. Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Persad-Bissessar said allegations about the authenticity of the coup commissioner’s credentials were being investigated by the Government.
She said: “In the interim, you would have realised that he has not been actually sitting in the commission.” Mohammed shot into the limelight after his academic qualifications came under scrutiny when the T&T Guardian exclusively reported his qualifications were suspect. He holds a doctorate of science from the unaccredited Atlantic International University and listed as referees in his CV deceased former President Sir Ellis Clarke and a non-existent president of Turkey.
On Wednesday Mohammed, accompanied by his attorney Martin George, admitted his curriculum vitae (CV) was inaccurate but he said he was not stepping down and plans to return to the commission today. In justifying his decision to stay on, Mohammed described the discrepancies on his CV as “errors.”
Persad-Bissessar admitted her Government had made some “wrong appointments” since assuming office but assured they were being dealt with swiftly. “We are not perfect,” she added, responding to questions about Mohammed’s appointment. “We are not omnipotent, omniscient or omnipresent, and so when allegations (are made), we have to look at them, first in the interest of natural justice and then take such action that is necessary.”
The Prime Minister, who was speaking with reporters after Kiddies Carnival celebrations at Bhupsingh Park, Penal, said her Government had made over 1,000 appointments, of which only “two or three” were erroneous. “I am not saying that they were good, but I mean, of 1,000 appointments there were two or three that might have been wrong appointments. I think (they) may not be a perfect A, ten-plus record, but it is not a really bad record that we have. We must remember that, however, each one that would have been a wrong appointment, they have been dealt with fairly swiftly and therefore that is the way how you handle these things when they arise,” she said.
She said what should be considered was that the Government had dealt with imperfections when they were found and “how we move forward.”
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