Fresh internal conflict is threatening to break the United National Congress (UNC) apart in the build up to internal elections.
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Fearful Marchan leaves laptop with Jack
“I may be next!” That is what Life Sport executive Ruth Marchan told Chaguanas West MP Jack Warner shortly after 5 am yesterday, in the wake of Thursday’s killing of Curtis “Tallman” Gibson,” who was reportedly connected to the Life Sport programme. Speaking after yesterday’s Parliament sitting, Warner told the T&T Guardian that a fearful Marchan initially visited him last Sunday in the company of Gibson to deliver evidence she had on corruption in the programme, because she did not know who she could trust.
“Last Sunday Ruth Marchan came in my home with her laptop and ‘Tallman’, and she left it (laptop) with me with tears in her eyes and told me, ‘They out to kill Tallman and me’ and she ask me to strip her laptop in the event that she is killed,” Warner said. Warner said Marchan initially visited him on Sunday to deliver the laptop, then came again on Monday and Tuesday. He said he “stripped” her lap top as requested and gave it back to her during one of those visits.
“In three days last week she came to me five times begging me for help,” Warner said. Yesterday, however, Warner said Marchan called him even more fearful for her life, after learning of the details of how Gibson, one of two other Life Sport officials she said was marked for death by the criminal element within the programme, was killed. Warner said she confirmed to him that Gibson was employed in the Life Sport programme.
Sport Minister Anil Roberts had yesterday told Parliament that Gibson was in no way employed or connected to the Life Sport programme. A release from the programme also said this yesterday.
Realising Marchan’s state of fear, Warner said during her visit he called the head of the National Operations Centre (NOC), Garvin Heera. He said he advised Marchan “to go to him (Heera) and talk to him and see what he can do for you.” He said he suggested that she should seek protection in a safe house, adding that all that had transpired was the result of the Life Sport programme. He said he also advised her to go to a daily newspaper and give her story.
No one had been arrested in connection with the killing up to yesterday.
Roodal muzzled me in House
Warner, who was denied an opportunity to contribute to yesterday’s debate on a private motion on the Life Sport programme, said he wanted to speak on the matter because of the information he had. But as he rose to speak, Leader of Government Business, Dr Roodal Moonilal, rose and moved that the House be adjourned to Friday at 10 am.
Warner noted that yesterday was Private Member’s Day and it was the third time in as many months that he was prevented from speaking in the Parliament. He noted that the motion to adjourn was made before 4 pm, adding he got permission from zChief Whip to speak on a day when private business was being debated.
“Why did Moonilal muzzle me again this afternoon? But let them go ahead. Half of the things Anil said were inaccurate and therefore I wanted to speak in the House.” Warner said he wanted to remind Roberts that he told him about criminal activities in Carapo. He said he also told the authorities in the Defence Fore of the need to put an army camp in Carapo, adding Imbert’s motion was about criminal activity in Carapo.
The former national security minister said the Life Sport initiative was not reducing crime in Carapo but was the cause of an increase. The value of programme was also being outweighed by the level of money being spent on it and the corruption within it, he said.
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