Moonilal: National security JSC must quiz top cop on Special Branch report

Dr Roodal Moonilal . File photo/Jeff K Mayers
Dr Roodal Moonilal . File photo/Jeff K Mayers

OPPOSITION East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal wants Parliament's Joint Select Committee on National Security

to interrogate the leadership of the police service on its intelligence-gathering.

In the context of a 2019 Special Branch report on allegations of wrongdoing against government minister Foster Cummings, Moonilal said it is critical this committee, of which he is a member, interrogate the leadership to enquire what has been done with the information gathered some three years ago.

Cummings, Minister of Youth Development and National Service, has denied all allegations of wrongdoing and has threatened legal action. National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds and acting CoP Mc Donald Jacob have both expressed concern about the leaked document.

While Moonilal chided the Prime Minister for remaining silent on the issue, a daily newspaper report on Tuesday said Dr Rowley was supporting Cummings.

On the United National Congress (UNC) platform on Monday night, Moonilal produced a letter he had written to chairman of the JSC, MP Keith Scotland, asking for an urgent meeting to discuss the allegations against Cummings.

In a letter drafted on May 9, Moonilal said he was shocked and appalled by the contents of the Special Branch report of July 5, 2019 which investigated Cummings, and which was made public last week by UNC Senator Jayanti Lutchmedial, who is also a member of this committee.

In his letter, Moonilal said the intelligence gathered by the Special Branch points to serious matters of misconduct and criminal dealings facilitated through corporate entities which are still doing business.

“It suggests that a sitting government Senator, who was subsequently elevated to the post of a Cabinet minister, was using his position to gain financial benefits for these entities, to which he is undeniably linked,” he said in the letter. “The authenticity of this report has been confirmed, and the public perception that evidence gathered by the TTPS was suppressed as a result of political influence is understandable.

“As a committee of responsible parliamentarians, we are, in my view, obligated to make the necessary enquiries on behalf of the taxpayers of this country who have voiced concern about this matter.

“Allegations of corruption, nepotism and misbehaviour by those who hold public office strike at the very heart of our democracy and, if left unresolved, would diminish public trust and confidence in institutions which are the foundation of our national security infrastructure."

He said such an inquiry by the committee was essential "if we are to uphold our overall mandate to ensure that peace, order and good governance of the country prevails.”

Moonilal told Scotland in the letter that in his considered view, should Scotland not summon the police to address these concerns about Cummings, he would be failing in his sworn duty as a parliamentarian and putting party politics over and above the best interests of the country.

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