Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi cleared Police Commissioner Gary Griffith of any connection to the ongoing investigations into the Cambridge Analytica matter.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, speaking at the PNM’s Local Government election meeting at Signature Hall, Chaguanas, last night, read out the details of a letter written to him by the AG which effectively cleared Griffith.
Rowley also wondered whether former Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar allowed a foreign company to use private information of private citizens.
“I have been ignoring those on the other side because we have too much to do, “ he said.
Having said that, Rowley referenced a statement made by Persad-Bissessar at the UNC’s Monday Night Forum about the Cambridge Analytica investigation.
Holding up the book, Mindf*** by former Cambridge Analytica employee Christopher Wylie, Rowley said despite Persad-Bissessar’s dismissive attitude, the people’s privacy needed to be protected.
“This has nothing to do with an election, this has everything to do with a problem that started in 2010,” he said. “This is high criminal activity.”
Rowley said Wylie was forced to go quiet because of threats made by the United National Congress. He said while Persad-Bissessar dismissed the matter as “who the hell cares”, the British Parliament had discussed the same matter.
He read excerpts from the book which dealt with attempts to suppress the black votes while building a database on other voters to ensure continued support.
“All I’ve read out is the proceedings under penalty of jail in the British parliament,” Rowley said.
He singled out Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal for saying that Wylie needed to produce proof of payment to show links to the UNC. Rowley also revealed some financial details of the UNC’s favoured advertiser, Ross Advertising, an agency led by Ernie Ross.
According to Rowley, Ross was granted a $13 million contract to advertise for the Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA).
“What did the CDA get for $13 million to Ross?” he asked.
He said the contracts to Ross for CDA advertising went from $250,000 to millions of dollars.
“You understand the wood the taxpayers getting in this country?” Rowley asked.
He also went through the rising cost of Corporate Social Responsibility at the National Gas Company (NGC).
“Over the period 2013 to 2015, a record of $915 million was spent on 46 corporate social responsibility projects relating to road works, playgrounds. Advertising and branding cost $493 million, “ he said, adding that Ross had also benefitted from that advertising push.
Rowley said he is sending the files about the NGC spending to the police.