Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Kamla: Glenn not fired over sex abuse complaint

A complaint to police against former minister of the people Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh had no bearing on Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s decision to fire him two weeks ago.

“My decision had already been made, my decision was made coming out of the incident involving Caribbean Airlines. I requested reports, from Caribbean Airlines,  the Airports Authority and (Ramadharsingh) himself; I read all the reports, his responses, and it was on that basis I made my decision. By the time these allegations had arisen, I had already made my decision,” Persad-Bissessar told reporters yesterday after the American Chamber of Commerce’s Annual General Meeting at the Hilton Trinidad yesterday.

Last month, the Express exclusively reported that flight attendant Ronelle Laidlow had filed a complaint against the minister for alleged misconduct on a flight from Tobago; Persad-Bissessar sacked Ramadharsingh less than a week later. 

Last week, the Sunday Express exclusively ran an interview with central Trinidad resident Patricia Singh who has reported to police that Ramadharsingh twice allegedly made her perform sexual acts on him to fast track a Housing Development Company (HDC) house for her. 

“I believe Dr Ramadharsingh has issued a statement on the matter in which he has denied the allegations; at the moment that is all I can stand on. I am not aware of a police investigation,” Persad-Bissessar said. 

For now, she said, Ramadharsingh remains Member of Parliament for Caroni Central, and a member of the United National Congress (UNC). 

“There is no law for the removal of an elected MP except if they resign or are expelled from the party; then you can go to the Speaker, as what happened with Justice Volney. 

There are no plans to expel him from the party. I felt given the allegations that he should not remain as a minister but certainly as a member of the party he will have his day in the sun in terms of the investigations, should there be a prosecution or otherwise,” she said. 

She noted the cases of former People’s National Movement ministers Franklin Khan and  Eric Williams, both of whom were charged for bribery in 2007, allegations that were consequently dropped, but who still remained members of the party. 

“My respectful view is that this time a person should not be fired as such. However, it is a matter that will be discussed at the executive of the party when we next meet,” she said.

Persad-Bissessar added that she was heading to the Ministry of the People— a portfolio she assumed after firing Ramadharsingh—after leaving the Hilton.