THE Prime Minister yesterday began a libel lawsuit against Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal over claims he (Dr Keith Rowley) has a dubious Florida bank account, and he asked local authorities to investigate.
This comes two days after Moonilal alleged on Tuesday during the budget debate in Parliament, that Rowley had an account with someone named Vidya Deokiesingh, the same as a Petrotrin employee named in the AV Drilling “fake oil” scandal. Rowley has described the allegation as a “monstrous lie.” He had vowed to sue Moonilal for allegedly referring to the claim outside of Parliament.
Yesterday, a statement from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) said the PM was advised he has legal recourse and has instructed his attorney to file a suit for libel against Moonilal and United National Congress (UNC) alderman and the party’s Women’s Arm PRO Marisa Ramlogan.
A separate OPM statement yesterday said Rowley had sent correspondence to Commissioner of Police (CoP) Gary Griffith and Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) director Susan Francois, requesting an investigation into the allegations of criminal conduct made against him and other people by Moonilal.
Earlier in an interview on Radio I95.5 FM, the PM declared he was in no position to instruct the CoP nor the Attorney General (AG) on how to act over Moonilal’s allegations.
“I have not instructed the police. I have made a request to the CoP to investigate this matter.”
Likewise he said he cannot instruct the AG, but just ask him to request the United States to investigate the charges under this country’s Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with that country.
Rowley said if Moonilal’s remarks implied Rowley was involved in money-laundering, such crimes were the FIU’s remit to probe. “I’m the happiest person in TT today, because I have instructed my lawyers to sue him (Moonilal.) Every single thing he said in that matter is a lie.”
Unaware of how his cousin’s name had entered the brouhaha, Rowley said, “When accusations are made about me, I can only speak about myself. If that’s the email address of Junior Rawlinson Rowley, that’s the end of the story for me. I have no business dealings with him.” See Page 9A