THE Prime Minister said he never called the name of businessman Jack Warner in relation to a questionable purchase of boats from Dutch firm under the former People’s Partnership government. Dr Rowley was addressing a virtual meeting on Wednesday in support of PNM candidate for Tunapuna Esmond Forde and Barataria/San Juan candidate Jason “JW” Williams.
Rowley said Warner claimed to have been named by the PM, but he denied it.
“I saw Jack Warner tonight identifying himself with a Dutch Government inquiry,” Rowley said.
“The Dutch Government came to us and told us what criminal investigation they are conducting into TT’s purchase of vessels that the last government purchased which we (the Government) paid for largely.”
Rowley said the Dutch Government undertook a probe after finding “huge commissions” paid in the purchase and so suspected something was wrong.
“I didn’t call Jack Warner’s name. They said ‘a minister of national security.’ Tonight Jack Warner is on television identifying himself and accusing me of calling his name. I never...They said a minister of national security. I didn’t know it was he.”
Rowley said he rejected Warner’s view it was an old matter.
“I didn’t know that fraud had an expiry date. As far as I am aware as a law-maker in this country, there is no expiry date on fraud. If something happened ten years ago and you discover it now, it is as fresh as a daisy.,
Rowley said even if police hadn’t talked to someone for five years, that did not mean all was okay and the Government has no right raising it now.
“That is the kind of talk you are hearing now from the Opposition that conducted your business the way they did and are telling you now they want to go back into government.
“It means they refuse to accept that something was wrong and that means if they get the opportunity again, they will do it again.”
Rowley alleged the Opposition does not condemn wrongdoing or else they would not be so chummy with Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for Tobago East Watson Duke, who is now on a rape charge but who wants to become prime minister, nor allow a man to be chairman of a corporation while he is charged for corruption.
“Some of them are on criminal charges and the way they are speeding to the court house you’d think they would have a little iota of shame.”
Rowley was confident TT would survive but not under the standards of the Opposition.