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Tourism Minister denies resigning over recording
Tourism Minister Gerald Hadeed is denying rumours he tendered his resignation to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar this week after the leak of an audio recording in which government ministers were accused of being corrupt. A source said Hadeed had forwarded his resignation to Persad-Bissessar but she had refused to accept it. Calls and texts to Persad-Bissessar’s cellphone went unanswered. Leader of Government Business in the House, Dr Roodal Moonilal, said he was not aware of Hadeed’s resignation.
Asked via text message whether he had resigned over the controversial recording, Hadeed said: “No.” He did not respond to other questions about the recording. Hadeed has neither confirmed nor denied whether it was his voice in the recording. Moonilal, in an earlier interview, said public officials were scared of speaking in the private domain and accused Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley of leading T&T down a path to becoming a ”Gestapo society” where secret cyber-spying was prevalent.
He added: “If Rowley ever becomes prime minister the society would become one where you cannot share an e-mail, a BBM, a text message. It is a very disturbing development. “We have reached a very sad state in this country where persons now, when they are in their private domain. ‘It is almost as if we are manufacturing a Gestapo society where nobody can be in their private domain and say anything or do anything without this type of Gestapo, secret cyber-spying taking place.”
What’s on the tape:
In the recording, a man, believed to be a senior government official, said high-ranking people in the People’s Partnership Government were corrupt and were stealing millions of dollars and while Persad-Bissessar was not a bad person, there were “rats” around her who were pulling her down.