Prime Minister rejects call for AG to be sacked following car transfer inquiry

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Minister of State for the Department for Education Lisa Morris-Julian, left, arrives at Success Laventille Secondary School to attend a town hall meeting led by PM Keith Rowley on Saturday. – AYANNA KINSALE

THE Prime Minister has rejected calls by opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar for Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi to be removed from his post based on a police investigation into the allegations she made against Al- Rawi regarding the transfer of a vehicle he sold.

On Friday, the AG said it welcomed the police investigation because “the allegations made are totally untrue and the evidence is there to address them”.

The issue concerns the sale of Al-Rawi’s Porche SUV in 2016 to lawyer Roger Kawalsingh, a former member of the Police Services Board and allegations that the vehicle was not transferred to the new owner to avoid the payment of taxes.

Speaking at a public meeting at Success Secondary School, Laventille on Saturday, Rowley responded to repeated pleas from the Leader of the Opposition.

He said he asked Al-Rawi to provide an update on the various investigations and civil disputes involving UNC members and believes this is at the heart of their refusal to support the passage of launcher legislation. alert. In the coming months, the government will introduce and pass legislation on campaign finance and local government reform in Parliament.

“After what they said yesterday in Parliament. I have instructed the Attorney General to come to Parliament and give you the people a summary of all the cases we have been involved in so far. you a summary of all the claims that were being made.”

“Complaints that have been settled and unsettled to give you an idea of ​​what we have handled.”

Rowley said UNC doesn’t want the public to know anything about these issues. “See, the secret they want is what they hide. I don’t keep any secrets from anyone in this country anymore. I’ll tell you everything I know.”

While he doesn’t reveal details of the cases that are pending (in court), Rowley said: “Sub judice doesn’t mean you have to ignore what’s going on around you with your assets and your money. You have to know. “

Outside Parliament, he said, “From today there will be a continuous series of people meeting the Prime Minister through conversations.”

Members of the PNM Youth League arrive at Success Laventille High School for a meeting led by PM Keith Rowley on Saturday. – AYANNA KINSALE

After a year and a half of people enduring UNC’s weekly public forums, Rowley said, “Meanwhile the cats stray, the mice play. PNM has returned to the battlefield.”

In defending Al-Rawi, Rowley asked what Persad-Bissessar’s apparent obsession with Al-Rawi was. Looking at the Cabinet ministers in the audience before him, Rowley said: “If it is necessary for a minister to be removed from the Cabinet, ask one of them. I will be the first to remove him. “

But he asked, “Am I supposed to move Faris because Kamla wrote a letter? Recalling that years ago a case involving himself and the delayed transfer of a vehicle was finally resolved in his favor. Rowley asked if he should have resigned from his position at that time.

Noting that UNC recently tried to make trouble for her by sipping beer in public while on vacation in Tobago, Rowley said it made Persad-Bissessar believe she would be prime minister again. He also believed that the new attacks by Persad-Bissessar and the UNC against Al-Rawi were intended to divert public attention from the questions the UNC had to answer while he was in government from May 2010 to September 2015.

Referring to claims by Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal that the government is targeting UNC members, Rowley said: “Who does he want us to go after? Keith Mitchell in Grenada?” Under TT laws and case law, he continued, “You sue people who have questions to answer. That’s accountability.”

Rowley questioned why UNC would try to mislead the public with allegations about the central Port of Spain hospital block and part of a collapsed road in Mosquito Creek, but refused to answer why, while its tenure, a clause in the Point Fortin Freeway Extension Project’s contract was removed to now put TT in a position where it could lose $921 million if it loses ongoing arbitration with the former contractor OAS Construtora.

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