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Monday 14 October 2019
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Plot to clear Marlene

UNC on PM's Kamla knew about police arrest


Port of Spain South MP Marlene McDonald at her constituency office on Piccadilly Street, Port of Spain on August 30. FILE PHOTO
Port of Spain South MP Marlene McDonald at her constituency office on Piccadilly Street, Port of Spain on August 30. FILE PHOTO

THE United National Congress (UNC) is questioning whether there is a ploy by the Rowley government to bring the police into disrepute so that fired Cabinet minister Marlene McDonald can escape the charges she now faces.

In a statement issued on Friday, the UNC said it will ensure “this nefarious plot does not occur and will bolt Marlene McDonald to Keith Rowley's chest. “

The statement came the day after the PNM Women’s League called on Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar to say whether she whispered to McDonald about the pending charges before they were laid against her.

The league’s chair, Camille Robinson-Regis, also called on Persad-Bissessar to reveal how she came to be in possession of "such sensitive information.”

It also followed a statement from Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi that low-ranking police officers may have leaked the information to Persad-Bissessar, even after Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith said this was highly improbable, as three days before charges were laid, no officer, including himself, was aware of the development.

Robinson-Regis said the former prime minister had a duty and obligation to respond the statements which Dr Keith Rowley first made and which were corroborated by McDonald if she wanted to maintain “the last shreds of credibility she possesses.”

The league also accused the UNC of cheapening the prestige of awarding silk, a time-honoured sign of attorneys attaining seniority in their profession.

McDonald said she was offered silk by a Cabinet minister in the PP administration, Dr Roodal Moonilal, when Persad-Bissessar was prime minister. Moonilal has denied the claim. The UNC called a news conference to clear the air, but Persad-Bissessar did not attend.

In a fiery response, the UNC said this was another pathetic attempt by the Rowley administration to create another debacle such as the E-mailgate scandal, by using parliamentary privilege to throw out falsehoods.

The UNC said the Prime Minister, Al-Rawi and Mc Donald all have contradicted the “fable” and need to go back to the drawing board to “get their lie straight.”

The statement said, “The country is dealing with three PNM persons who have no credibility, an e-mail fabricator, a person charged for money laundering and a fool. The country is fed up of them. They have no plans, policies, projects or achievements.

“All three have different timelines, all three have no evidence, Faris says Marlene is telling the truth about it but at the same time says she is lying about him telling her he looked into the potential arrest and it was not true.

“Faris says it is a fact, but in fact, his 'facts' are hearsay from the mouth of the woman who is facing charges and has 22 witnesses against her. This is a case of he-said-she-said and they-said-them-said and should not be occupying the national discourse.”

"The UNC clearly sees the nefarious plot being perpetrated by the government. It is clear as day that the Rowley government is attempting to bring the investigating police officers into disrepute."

The UNC also took aim at some media personnel who, it charged, “continue to harass the Leader of the Opposition.”

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