Kamla stays mum on tip-off allegations

Op­po­si­tion Leader Kam­la Per­sad-Bisses­sar has re­spond­ed to Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley on al­le­ga­tions that she had no knowl­edge that Mar­lene Mc­Don­ald was to be ar­rest­ed, telling UNC sup­port­ers last night that she had “no pip”.

She spoke at a UNC meet­ing at the New Grant Gov­ern­ment School in Moru­ga yes­ter­day.

 

Per­sad-Bisses­sar ac­cused the Prime Min­is­ter of de­lib­er­ate­ly cre­at­ing dis­trac­tions away from na­tion­al is­sues and en­cour­aged sup­port­ers not to be “dis­tract­ed.”

“I can as­sure you I have no pip,” she said, adding that she had no fur­ther in­ten­tion of talk­ing fur­ther about the mat­ter, which she deemed “Mar­lene-gate”.

The Op­po­si­tion Leader said the mat­ter is sub-ju­dice and be­ing a lawyer her­self, she told sup­port­ers she did not want to put her “mouth in that mat­ter.”

But it didn’t stop her from tak­ing a jab at the Prime Min­is­ter.

 

“Let me give you a tip-off Dr Row­ley, call the elec­tion now and see”, she said.

She added that there have many al­le­ga­tions lev­elled against her over her many years in pol­i­tics but still “I rise.”

Dur­ing de­bate on the Firearms (Amend­ment) Bill, 2019 ear­li­er this month, Dr Row­ley al­leged that Per­sad-Bisses­sar com­mu­ni­cat­ed with Mc Don­ald about her pos­si­bly be­ing ar­rest­ed.

“I didn’t know Mar­lene Mc Don­ald was go­ing to get ar­rest­ed but one month be­fore she was ar­rest­ed the Leader of the Op­po­si­tion could have called her to her of­fice and tell her she was go­ing to be ar­rest­ed,” he said.

At a news con­fer­ence last Thurs­day he called out Per­sad-Bisses­sar for her si­lence on the mat­ter.

“If you had grown up the way I had grown up, rais­ing yard fowl, you would know there is some­thing called pip. And when the fowl has pip, it can’t feed. So it is not all the time that peo­ple like Mrs Per­sad-Bisses­sar can talk, some­times they have pip and if she has pip she can’t talk,” he said.

Since the is­sue was made pub­lic, Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Gary Grif­fith ad­dressed the mat­ter by say­ing “it is ab­solute­ly im­pos­si­ble that any­one could of made such a state­ment and be ac­cu­rate about it be­cause sev­er­al weeks be­fore there was noth­ing re­mote­ly close to go­ing ahead to con­firm any MP was to be ar­rest­ed.”

MP Mc­Don­ald al­so told Guardian Me­dia she had “no doubt” in her mind that the Op­po­si­tion Leader was speak­ing the truth and she had no rea­son to doubt her.

On Au­gust 7th, of­fi­cers of the Fraud Squad went to Mc­Don­ald’s home at Val­ley View, Mara­cas, St Joseph, where they ex­e­cut­ed a search war­rant and took away sev­er­al items.

This was in con­nec­tion with a six-year in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­to the al­leged si­phon­ing of over $1 mil­lion from a gov­ern­ment min­istry to three or­gan­i­sa­tions linked to fam­i­ly and friends of the then Pub­lic Ad­min­is­tra­tion and her hus­band.

Four days lat­er Mc Don­ald was charged with sev­en crim­i­nal charges, in­clud­ing mis­be­hav­iour in pub­lic of­fice, con­spir­a­cy to de­fraud and mon­ey laun­der­ing.

Mc Don­ald, her long-time com­pan­ion Michael Carew, Wayne An­tho­ny, Vic­tor McEachrane and Edgar Zepher­ine ap­peared be­fore Chief Mag­is­trate Maria Bus­by-Ear­le-Cad­dle in the Port-of-Spain Mag­is­trates’ Court, on Mon­day morn­ing to an­swer a to­tal of 49 charges.

Reporter: Chester Smabrano

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