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Rowley accuses PM of prison litigation cover-up
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley yesterday visited the Port-of-Spain office of the Integrity Commission to discuss administrative matters. Rowley indicated that in brief comments to the media as he made his way to his car after the 90-minute meeting. “I have administrative meetings. There is no commission, as you know, so I have had administrative meetings,” he added.
Rowley then got into his car and left. Chairman of the commission Kenneth Gordon was seen leaving the building five minutes after Rowley arrived at 10.30 am yesterday. Gordon greeted members of the public who were visiting the Unit Trust Building, which housed the commission. He told reporters outside that there was no meeting and mistakenly attempted to enter Rowley’s car on leaving.
Last month commission member Seunarine Jokhoo resigned and no one has as yet been appointed to replace him. The commission has been unable to function effectively since then.
On the campaign trail
At a meeting of his slate of candidates for this month’s national executive election of the PNM at Guaico Secondary School, Rowley said there will be absolutely no co-operation on any matter with the Kamla Persad-Bissessar-led People’s Partnership Government.
He accused Persad-Bissessar of trying to cover up the prison service litigation matter to protect the Attorney General, Anand Ramlogan. On Wednesday Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard ordered a probe into the matter, which was first raised by former Solicitor General Eleanor Donaldson-Honeywell in a letter to Persad-Bissessar.
Rowley read from a letter from Donaldson-Honeywell which said she was not getting the required co-operation from AG Ramlogan in the matter. Rowley said Ramlogan should now resign in the wake of that letter as Ramlogan had said two weeks ago there was no information available to suggest that he was in any way involved. Rowley said he quoted a latter from Donaldson-Honeywell which said the AG did not seek to support her with one recommendation.
He claimed the country was being run by the mafia and called for both the PM and AG to resign. “Tonight I disconnect from the Prime Minister of T&T, and from here on in, all I would be calling for is the resignation of Kamla Persad-Bissessar, along with Anand Ramlogan—and we want the election now,” he shouted. The next general election is due in one year.
He told his supporters he had “conclusive proof” that people in the corridors of power were “prepared to cover up criminal conduct, to cover up wrongdoing and they are in fact a mafia. This country is being run by a mafia,” he insisted. Rowley said the population will march to the Office of the President on May 23 in a show of protest against the Government.
On another matter, Rowley said he was instructing the PNM’s treasurer, Mariano Browne, to present a report at tomorrow’s General Council meeting to show Rowley had not used any party funds for his election campaign. Rowley denied the allegation, saying he raised funds privately and from his constutuency to support his campaign. He said he did not buy any radio stations nor employ staff for the campaign or rent a house in Valsayn to run the campaign.