Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley yesterday condemned reported attacks on media personnel who were pursuing the fake oil scandal involving Petrotrin and A&V Drilling and Workover Limited.
In a statement issued by the Office of the Prime Minister, Rowley declared, “The reported physical and abusive attack on media personnel is wholly unacceptable and should not be initiated or encouraged by any person, under any circumstances.” Rowley said where any laws have been broken, “it is unreservedly expected that adequate law enforcement is available so that the law will take its course.”
He said that in so far as these reports relate to problems and allegations at State-owned Petrotrin operations, “it would be in the interest of all parties and the nation as a whole if necessary investigations of all aspects of these operations, are permitted to be conducted and concluded in such a manner as to facilitate clear and definitive conclusions which would allow the necessary accountability that the circumstances demand.”
Media workers were threatened and physically attacked in three separate incidents last week but as they sought to cover the same story. According to a couple of the workers, among their attackers was a police officer.
The incidents occurred in the same location as the journalists sought to take pictures of the Penal premises of a lease operator who has been named in a major audit report that pointed to fraud in the delivery of oil to state-owned Petrotrin. The company, according to the report was billed some $100 million for oil it never received.