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Thursday 23 November 2017
Politics

Moonilal: It’s a vendetta

Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal yesterday scoffed at the threat of legal action made against him by Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young. He also rejected allegations of bid-rigging and cartel-like arrangements at the Estate Management Business Development Corporation (EMBD), during his tenure as housing minister in the former People’s Partnership government. Moonilal vowed to take legal action to clear his name. He said there are managers and former managers of the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) who “are prepared to go on oath” to defend the process whereby people are provided with HDC homes.

He made these statements to reporters during a meeting of the Standing Finance Committee of the House of Representatives at Tower D of the Port-of-Spain International Waterfront Centre.

“This is the height of political mischief, victimisation and it is a vendetta on the part of the Attorney General (Faris Al-Rawi) and Mr Young,” Moonilal declared. He said his lawyers will be writing the Police Commissioner and the Director of Public Prosecutions about the statements in the documents which Young referred to at a news conference at the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs.

Moonilal said the documents contain what appears to be be “cut and paste” text messages where his name is mentioned. Describing this as “emailgate II”, Moonilal claimed “This has to be fabricated.” He said he could not recognise any of these transcriptions as his text messages. “I can’t remember what I texted last week. So I can’t remember what I texted in 2014, 2015 and that kind of thing.” He said he is confident “this will be thrown out on the first day of a court hearing.”

Moonilal said he knew former EMBD CEO Gary Paramasar. However he could not say whether or not he recommended that Paramasar receive an HDC house. Moonilal said if no evidence on this has been found to date, “it suggests that I never recommended him in the first place.”

Moonilal said despite Young’s claims of considerable work being done on this matter, “they cannot name me as a defendant.” He added, “I am not a party to any of these matters.”

While the matter Young referred to was a civil action, Moonilal said the same matter was also referred to the police.

He claimed Government has lost faith in the police and this is an attempt “to maliciously influence a police investigation.” Moonilal also said the same contractors which are named in this lawsuit are, “the recipients of massive state contracts at this time.”

He said one particular contractor, “has received the biggest single construction contract since this government came into power.” Moonilal claimed Government has spent approximately $6 million on this matter and also contracted a British law firm to do related technical work. He also claimed the attorney prosecuting the matter, Jason Mootoo, is an associate of Young.

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