Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said he has “no fear...I will have my day in Court with Roodal Moonilal and all those who slander me.”
These were the words of the prime minister as he appeared on I95.5 FM’s Take Two Thursday programme yesterday breaking his silence on allegations being made against him by the opposition MP.
Dr Rowley said Moonilal and Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar have set about to implicate him in corruption with A & V Drilling “simply because I know the man.”
“Roodal Moonilal slandered me in the worst way. Three times he came to the Parliament, on the second occasion he came to The Parliament trying to slander me. He brought a document, a false document...showing bank account number, my name on it...he could do that inside the Parliament. He is abusing Parliamentary privilege but then he came outside the Parliament and lifted that privilege and I sued him immediately, “ Rowley said.
“While that is so, what’s worst is that he comes back to the Parliament again in this Budget Debate and does not say a word about the budget, 53 billion dollars of expenditure, the man did not say a word but he coming back again with documents purporting to be bank transactions with my name on it and he and his minions on Facebook are out there trying to give the impression that not only as the last PM, previous PMs were thieves but that this one is this too but I can tell the people of T & T to have no fear I will have my day in Court with Roodal Moonilal and all those who slander me because the one thing I know I intend to fight like a Tiger to protect, for me, my children and grandchildren, my good name...long as you slander me I am going to take you to Court, “ he added.
During the Oropouche East MP’s budget contribution he alleged a “tangled web” involving wire transfers, clandestine meetings and secret signing of documents all having to do with the sale of the refinery to the Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU).
Although Dr Moonilal made no mention of certain players he alluded to a place in Penal and also showed a document with the Prime Minister’s name on it.
On the issue of A & V Drilling and Petrotrin, Rowley said the action taken by Petrotrin was precipitate and cannot be supported by facts. He said the contract between A&V Drilling and Petrotrin has provisions for arbitration.
Last week A&V Drilling’s attorneys Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj SC, Prakash Ramadhar and others held a press conference. He said what was disclosed doesn’t surprise him.
“Petrotrin internal report says that it always had a problem with internal measurement. I saw a report where that issue there was a recommendation for the disciplining of staff...I have nothing to say.”
The prime minister also sought to address the issue in relation to a company involved in a drug which caused seven patients to go blind in either one eye or both eyes - a story that was first reported exclusively in the Sunday Guardian on October 6.
Dr Rowley said he didn’t know much but said he is expecting and hopes that the company behind the importation of the drug could be identified.
“The other aspect...if deemed coming in illegal, the illegality needs to be determined if accidental or criminality...clearly if such a person can be identified as they ought to be because somebody administered the drug, it had to come from somewhere...I am waiting to hear from the Minister of Health and the Legal Department, “ Rowley said.
Back in July, the Ministry of Health recalled the imported injection which contained Triamcineclone Acetonide as its main ingredient.
In the past four months, the seven patients have undergone eye removal surgery and are currently being outfitted with prosthetic glass eyes.