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Saturday, July 26, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Leaked video in no way a scandal—Bharath
A leaked video purportedly showing a government minister rolling a marijuana cigarette in a hotel room which emerged on Wednesday is in no way a scandal, says Minister of Trade and Communication Vasant Bharath.
“I do not want to classify this as a scandal, because I do not think it is. Clearly there is a video out there and we are not sure of the actual content. We do not know who it is in the video. We do not know whether in fact it is a video that has been fabricated. We do not. In fact, we are not really concerned about that at this point in time,” he said. Bharath spoke to the media yesterday after the launch of the new e-services by the Ministry of Trade at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain.
Sport Minister Anil Roberts on Thursday said the video was the start of a dirty war against him and the Government. On Thursday, the Government said a short video of a man who resembles a minister wrapping what appears to be a marijuana cigarette was just a People’s National Movement (PNM) distraction and did not deserve a detailed reply.
Replying to questions from the media about PNM leader Dr Keith Rowley saying the Government’s terse response was “ridiculous,” Bharath repeated the Government’s position that it was a “distraction.” “That is Mr Rowley's response, but clearly we feel it is a distraction and we are not going to add any further comment to the statement issued yesterday (Thursday),” he said. Bharath said the Government was concerned with the business of government and not with trivial issues.
“Our concern is getting on with the job of governing T&T and continuing the good work we have done. You all would have seen today alone, with the changes made to the ease of doing business in T&T, that creates the environment that allows us to encourage investors into the country. That is what our focus is and what we will continue to do,” he said. When asked what steps would be taken if more details of the video emerged, Bharath said it was not his decision to make.
“That is for the Prime Minister to make. We do not put any significance on any video at this time. It is a distraction by the Opposition,” he repeated.