Moonilal complains to DPP about ‘political witch hunt’ against UNC

Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal. -
Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal. -

Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal says Government has brought back to TT, British investigators to carry out a political witch hunt against him and members of the Opposition. He intends to write to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard, SC, to investigate the foreigners’ conduct.

The British firm Edmonds, Marshall and McMahom (EMM) was initially tasked with investigating alleged wrongdoings by former ministers who were responsible for LifeSport and the Estate Management & Business Development (EMBD) Co Ltd under the Kamla Persad-Bissessar administration.

EMBD fell under Moonilal’s portfolio as minister of housing, while Anil Roberts, now a senator, was the sports minister under who the LifeSport programme was birthed.

From a United National Congress (UNC) virtual forum on Monday, Moonilal said while he welcomed any probe into white collar crime, there was no evidence of wrongdoing to finger any ex-ministers.

He said the tenor has now changed to one that is politically motivated at a cost of $40 million which, he alleged, was surreptitiously passed to former commissioner of police Gary Griffith and the police service with the instruction to hound down opponents of the People’s National Movement (PNM).

Moonilal showed documents which, he said, can substantiate his claims of political targeting. He read from one which the British firm allegedly sent to the police.

He also referred to an alleged January 28 meeting to discuss “a change of focus in the prosecution to enabling more direct prosecution of Dr Roodal Moonilal.”

“I want to quote something, because I find this fascinating. ‘A constitution of the political controlling minds would be preferable’ meaning it’s politicians they are looking for, not white-collar criminals.

“My lawyers propose to write the DPP in Trinidad and Tobago to outline the political motivations of foreign lawyers and consultants at the behest of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. The DPP must learn of the high state political campaign that is taking place in the name of fighting white-collar crime. We will tip him off.”

Moonilal said the UNC also proposes to write to the Law Society of the United Kingdom “to complain of the covert political role played by UK lawyers and other professionals in undermining our Constitution and our democracy.”

He said Kate McMahom, who is part of the investigative team, will be copied.

“I also call out the past UK high commissioner Tim Stew and ask if he had any role to play in working with the PNM government, post 2015, to recruit EMM or any other firm to hound down and persecute political opponents of Keith Rowley.”

He said Stew has taken up a diplomatic position in Panama.

Moonilal accused the Government of undermining the police service and the rule of law by overthrowing the Constitution which provides for the DPP to be responsible for prosecution in this country.

“The DPP advises the police on prosecutions. That’s why police officers seek guidance and advice from the DPP on all criminal matters.

“It is enshrined in the Constitution. Today, they have sub-contracted the office of the DPP. They have privatised the DPP’s office by hiring a British firm, and always remember England has no written Constitution, unlike TT.”

As an independent body, Moonilal said Rowley had no authority to direct or advise the police service to hire lawyers to go after political opponents of the PNM. He criticised Rowley for using $40 million of taxpayers’ dollars when the DPP’s office is starved of human and material resources, and space to do its job.

Businessmen, he said, have difficulty getting as little as US$200 to conduct legitimate trade, but $40 million in scarce foreign exchange could be found for something that is not necessary.

Roberts also denied any wrongdoing while he was sports minister.

“Let me tell Rowley something. Rowley you could spend $40 million, you could spend $80 million, you could spend $800 million, you would not find one iota of evidence of wrongdoing by Anil O E Roberts.

“Roberts did not break the law, he did not interfere, influence, intervene or misbehave in public office as you did Rowley, in the Police Service Commission fiasco.

“No bid rigging in no ferry by Anil, no conga line with Maduro, or Renaissance, no Las Alturas, no Green Vale, no Cleaver Heights. So come Rowley, look me right here boy,” he challenged.


"Moonilal complains to DPP about ‘political witch hunt’ against UNC"

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