Rowley a ‘Troubled Man’ after Farley’s Allegations…

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By Sue-Ann Wayow

AN alleged attempt to slander Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley by Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Farley Augustine is now in the hands of the police.

Dr Rowley called a press conference on Thursday to speak on one matter – the allegations made by Augustine on Wednesday at a special plenary sitting of the THA executive. He said, “The contents of which became more and more alarming as the minutes ticked by.

Expanding much more on the press release issued on Wednesday concerning the same allegation, saying he was a “troubled man” by the proceedings of the last 24 hours, the prime minister said all legal advice will be sought and the necessary action taken.

Dr Rowley said, “This attempt to slander me is now a police matter as far as I know and I would expect the police to do their job without fear or favour, without malice and without ill-will, as I do.”

He also said that the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) was not a “political football.”

Dr Rowley said Augustine was also slandering the TTPS with his allegations.

“He accused them of being agents of the political directorate in the country. That is a clear allegation. Unambiguous and that could not be good for any police service,” he said.

Dr Rowley said that everything was done just to prevent the police from conducting what he called “a normal investigation,” into a leaked audio tape in which the use of social media to spread political propaganda was discussed with Augustine being a subject of that investigation.

“This is not a matter where the police is at fault. This is a matter where the police is being hurt, and the country is being hurt,” he said adding that Augustine’s intentions to go to international agencies with the matter was following in the footsteps of Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

Dr Rowley said, “I hereby call publicly, not in any conspiratorial meeting, I hereby call publicly on the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service to proceed to investigate any and all persons who took part in this suborning of testimony who tampered with witnesses and who seek to undermine an ongoing police investigation. There are provisions in the law to treat with persons like that.”

Apart from slander, Augustine also went against parliamentary laws by showing a video recording of a stranger in the Assembly which Dr Rowley said was shocking to him.

A recording by an alleged stranger, a named whistleblower Akil Abdullah who claimed to have met with Dr Rowley to discredit Augustine and his THA followers.

Dr Rowley said he did his checks on Wednesday night within Commonwealth nations and nowhere he has seen such breach of parliamentary laws and the two times it was conducted was in Trinidad and Tobago, one when he was in Opposition and Wednesday’s sitting of the THA executive.

He said the People’s National Movement (PNM) Minority Leader Kelvon Morris will take the necessary action against THA presiding officer Abby Taylor, who permitted the recording to be shown publicly in the Chamber.

“It violated every tenant of the existence of privilege and the use of privilege in a House of Parliament or debate in any Commonwealth country,” Dr Rowley said which was reckless and abuse of the THA.

Augustine himself had said at the sitting the reason he chose to lay his allegations in the THA chamber was the only place he felt safe doing so.


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