"I am not aware."
This was the refrain of National Security Minister Jack Warner yesterday as he repeatedly denied any knowledge of the New Flying Squad Investigation Unit in response to questions from Opposition Senators Fitzgerald Hinds and Faris Al-Rawi in the Lower House at Tower D, International Waterfront Centre, Port of Spain.
Warner said he was aware "Dr" Mervyn Cordner "has been saying several things publicly, with each utterance different from the one he said previously".
Warner added, however, he was not aware that Cordner had set up a covert agency for the National Security Ministry.
He denied having any conversation or agreement with Cordner about any covert unit, that he instructed any member of his Ministry to speak with and have any agreement with Cordner; or the Ministry providing any resources to the unit.
He noted that in Newsday of June 26, 2012, he had stated he was considering the revival of the Flying Squad and he had reported he discussed the issue with the Commissioner of Police and "based on his advice the idea was abandoned".
It was then that the barrage of supplemental questions began. Hinds questioned him about National Security Operations Centre (NSOC) director Garvin Heerah, who has publicly stated that he assisted in the acquisition of vehicles for Cordner and the unit.
Warner responded that he was not aware what the official said or did not say, "but I do know the NSOC official had no official authority from the Ministry for the issuing of any instructions to Cordner or anybody else".
Hinds then asked whether NSOC fell under his Ministry's purview and Warner said it did. Hinds questioned again whether Warner was aware of Heerah's statements.
He responded, "I want to say again very slowly, apparently I spoke too fast just now...this Minister is not aware of any official instruction given to any director of NSOC or anybody with regard to giving instructions to Mr Cordner on any matter whatsoever."
Hinds questioned again if he was aware of the statements and under what basis such assistance would be provided and Warner replied on both occasions: "I am not aware".
Al-Rawi then joined in, questioning Warner when he first became aware of Cordner's statements and Warner responded, when he read it in the newspapers.
Questioned whether he knew if any other minister, perhaps a member of the National Security Council (NSC), was aware of the provision of services to the unit, Warner responded: "I am not aware."
He also said he could not divulge any discussions by the NSC on the matter.
Warner also reported there were no investigations regarding the alleged vehicles provided to the unit by his Ministry.
Al-Rawi questioned what course of action he planned to take on the issue and whether he had instructed the Commissioner of Police to investigate.
Warner replied: "I don't know what course I should take," other than his report to the Prime Minister, also noting that he does not instruct the Commissioner of Police.
Al-Rawi asked again whether he was aware of the provision of any resources to the Flying Squad and Warner said: "In any form or fashion, in any language, I am not aware."
Al-Rawi questioned whether there was any investigation and possible disciplinary action on anyone in the Ministry and Warner again replied he was "not aware".
He also said he and his Ministry had "answered satisfactorily" on the issue and he was awaiting the outcome of the investigation by the Commissioner.