Monday, February 19, 2018

I was offered bribe to drop ferry probe*

Mark Bassant testifies before Joint Select Committee:

startling revelations: CCN TV6 senior investigative journalist Mark Bassant displays a photo during his appearance at Monday’s sitting of the Joint Select Committee on Land and Physical Infrastructure at the J Hamilton Maurice Room in Parliament. At left is attorney Faarees Hosein. —Photo courtesy The Office of the Parliament of T&T

A woman claiming to be the close friend of a Government official offered TV6 investigative journalist Mark Bassant a “six-figure” bribe to drop his investigation into the ferry fiasco.
So claimed Bassant, the author of the Gap in the Bridge 13-part series, as he responded to questions from Joint Select Committee (JSC) member Wade Mark on Monday night.
Asked by Mark to elaborate on his statement that he and his employer had come under fire for his investigative pieces on this matter, Bassant said: “Following the broadcast of the first piece, there was talk for quite a while by armchair journalists who sit at the radio and do nothing and by financiers of the PNM Government [who were] calling up my CEO.
“I got threats from people. I got offers of inducements. I had people witness it where somebody came up to me at a function and said, ‘Let’s make this all go away, I’ll write you a cheque tomorrow.’ And she was dead serious.
“I took umbrage to that. I was very offended. And I told the person she was with whom I happen to know, that I was not about that. Ever! And I had police officers call me and say ‘Be very careful. Yuh treading on ground that people not very happy with, because this is a lot of money’.”

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