Speaker reserves ruling on sending opposition legislator to Privilege Committee

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Oct 10, CMC – The Speaker of the Trinidad and Tobago Parliament, Bridgid Annisette-George, Wednesday reserved her ruling on whether or not to send an opposition legislator to the Privileges Committee as Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley denied allegations that he has a bank account in the United States.

Government legislators moved to have Dr. Roodal Moonilal sent to the Committee after he sought to link Prime Minister Rowley with the bank account.

Dr. Rupert Moonilal (Left) and Prime
Minister Dr. Keith Rowley (File Photo)

Moonilal told Parliament on Tuesday that he had travelled to Miami on several occasions as he investigated the issue and that his information had “pointed me to a bank in Florida, C and C International Trading Regents Bank.”

Moonilal said the bank has documents calling for additional attention, addressed to two people, one Vidia Deokiesingh and a second name he could not call in Parliament.

But in a statement to Parliament on Wednesday, Prime Minister Rowley said he wanted to set the record straight and described the statements by Moonilal as “spurious and wholly untrue”.

Rowley recalled that Moonlial had made similar allegations last December and was forced to withdraw them and that the opposition legislator aware of the fact that the proceedings are carried and broadcast live via radio, television and on the world wide web to a global audience to malign, is again attempting “to damage me, and other members of the government with complete fabrications of untruths.

“Madame Speaker, this type of behaviour is un-parliamentary, unbecoming of any member of parliament and to be condemned. It is deserving of being brought before the privileges committee of the parliament and appropriately dealt with.”

Rowley said that the latest statement made by the opposition legislator on Tuesday “was carefully, intentionally and maliciously calculated to defame me, damage me and my reputation.

“He imputed impropriety to me and provided only bogus documents. This is unacceptable and cannot be left unchallenged. I state here, as I have done already elsewhere, that there is absolutely no truth to what the member for Oropouche East has stated and/ or imputed.

“I have no bank account in Miami, USA; I was not party to any banking transaction with Mr Deokiesingh, Formula One Trading or any person or persons with respect to any bank in Florida, the United States, or any bank in the world for that matter Madame Speaker.”

Rowley called on Moonilal to provide Parliament with the document, “this bank document that he got wind of, made trips to Miami to get and has in his possession, to you, the House and to the media outside of Parliament.

“I have observed that as he has taken ownership of his performance within these walls he has since confirmed his libel outside. The treatment of this development is for another day in another place.

“Madame Speaker, I have today instructed my Attorneys at Law to write to the Bank that the address he quoted seems to be at, “Regions Bank, 8200 NW 36th Street, Doral, Florida 33166” to obtain from them confirmation that I have never done any banking with them whatsoever, because this is the truth,” Rowley said.

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Oct 10, CMC – The Speaker of the Trinidad and Tobago Parliament, Bridgid Annisette-George, Wednesday reserved her ruling on whether or not to send an opposition legislator to the Privileges Committee as Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley denied allegations that he has a bank account in the United States.

Government legislators moved to have Dr. Roodal Moonilal sent to the Committee after he sought to link Prime Minister Rowley with the bank account.

Dr. Rupert Moonilal (Left) and Prime
Minister Dr. Keith Rowley (File Photo)

Moonilal told Parliament on Tuesday that he had travelled to Miami on several occasions as he investigated the issue and that his information had “pointed me to a bank in Florida, C and C International Trading Regents Bank.”

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Moonilal said the bank has documents calling for additional attention, addressed to two people, one Vidia Deokiesingh and a second name he could not call in Parliament.

But in a statement to Parliament on Wednesday, Prime Minister Rowley said he wanted to set the record straight and described the statements by Moonilal as “spurious and wholly untrue”.

Rowley recalled that Moonlial had made similar allegations last December and was forced to withdraw them and that the opposition legislator aware of the fact that the proceedings are carried and broadcast live via radio, television and on the world wide web to a global audience to malign, is again attempting “to damage me, and other members of the government with complete fabrications of untruths.

“Madame Speaker, this type of behaviour is un-parliamentary, unbecoming of any member of parliament and to be condemned. It is deserving of being brought before the privileges committee of the parliament and appropriately dealt with.”

Rowley said that the latest statement made by the opposition legislator on Tuesday “was carefully, intentionally and maliciously calculated to defame me, damage me and my reputation.

“He imputed impropriety to me and provided only bogus documents. This is unacceptable and cannot be left unchallenged. I state here, as I have done already elsewhere, that there is absolutely no truth to what the member for Oropouche East has stated and/ or imputed.

“I have no bank account in Miami, USA; I was not party to any banking transaction with Mr Deokiesingh, Formula One Trading or any person or persons with respect to any bank in Florida, the United States, or any bank in the world for that matter Madame Speaker.”

Rowley called on Moonilal to provide Parliament with the document, “this bank document that he got wind of, made trips to Miami to get and has in his possession, to you, the House and to the media outside of Parliament.

“I have observed that as he has taken ownership of his performance within these walls he has since confirmed his libel outside. The treatment of this development is for another day in another place.

“Madame Speaker, I have today instructed my Attorneys at Law to write to the Bank that the address he quoted seems to be at, “Regions Bank, 8200 NW 36th Street, Doral, Florida 33166” to obtain from them confirmation that I have never done any banking with them whatsoever, because this is the truth,” Rowley said.