That’s how United National Congress MP Roodal Moonilal said he felt yesterday after he claimed several “pieces of the puzzle started coming together” concerning the recent allegations he’s made against Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.
“Forty-eight hours after the allegations and without one investigation being launched, I feel vindicated that at least I was on a path—I’m inspired by the Attorney General, you really do have to ‘follow the money.’”
Moonilal spoke to reporters during a break in yesterday’s Standing Finance Committee meeting in Parliament. He was commenting on various reports about the allegations he made during Tuesday’s 2019 Budget debate.
Moonilal had produced alleged email information on which he queried what he perceived as “links” between Rowley and alleged financial transactions emanating from A&V Drilling to a Miami bank. Rowley, at a media briefing on Wednesday and in Parliament, rubbished Moonilal’s allegations as untrue and his documents as bogus. Rowley said he had no banking transaction of the nature Moonilal alleged, nor did he have any accounts in Miami or the United States.
Following media reports, Moonilal yesterday noted that one of the people in his allegations—one Charlie Diaz—does exist.
He also noted the Rowley had—subsequent to his press conference—confirmed being cousin to one J Rawlinson Rowley.
“At his press conference, the Prime Minister didn’t choose to disclose that,” Moonilal added.
On Wednesday, PM Rowley had said an email Moonilal had made allegations about, and which Rowley had seen being circulated by UNC members on social media didn’t involve him. PM Rowley said the email address, “email@example.com” was not his email.
Moonilal added: “I’m happy that 48 hours later we’ve now confirmed there is a Charlie Diaz, there’s a business confirmed to be linked for 17 years to AV Drilling and the details I gave in my presentation are confirmed to be true.”
While Diaz reportedly denied the alleged cheques, Moonilal said he did not think the cheques were meant to be Diaz’s.
“But we now have 25 per cent of the puzzle—we have 75 per cent more to get. As days go by, the pieces are coming together and without investigation. They’re just coming together with social media and media investigations.”
Moonilal said investigations could deal with denials on several fronts.
“At least from my side, I’m starting to feel very light on my feet,” he said.
“I don’t feel elated but I’m feeling lighter that my presentation wasn’t a complete or 100 per cent wrong as the pieces are coming together—the email address is correct, the person exists, the business exists, the banking data is accurate.”
He added: “It’s just other parts have to come together. This story is unravelling by the day. Tomorrow we may well have another piece of the puzzle. I was probably only the main protagonist, but now I’m looking at social media and reporters investigating this further—I’m happy the media’s investigating without direction.
“This isn’t about Keith Rowley—it’s about Vidya Deokiesingh, AV Drilling and fake oil. I gave some information, I can’t get more. But other agencies specialise in these things.”
Moonilal felt Rowley’s threat to sue was also “linked to fear.” But saying he was fearless, he added, “I’ll be very eager to go to court and listen to Dr Rowley in the witness box on this matter.”
He said he was the “most scrutinised politician in the region” and Government had targeted him, “because I’ve targetted them—you don’t go into a lion’s den unless you’re a lion.”
Moonilal felt Government was shaken by the matter. He noted frontline Ministers from National Security to the PM did not get to talk in the Budget debate, which closed shortly after Moonilal’s contribution Tuesday.
Citing UNC parliamentary caucus confidentiality, he declined to say if he had discussed the allegations with UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar before making them.