National Security Minister Jack Warner is not apologising for saying Vernon De Lima was present at a secret meeting at which plans to destabilise the country were discussed.
Speaking to the Express yesterday Warner said: "If there are two Vernon De Limas who are attorneys-at-law then I make a mistake with the person, then I would surely apologise. But I am not aware that there are two Vernon De Limas who are attorneys-at-law. Until that comes to me I am waiting but I have information that Vernon De Lima, attorney-at-law, was at the meeting".
Warner said he found it strange nobody was concerned about some of the other names he called —such as "Soldier Barry".
He said: "I know how you guys operate, but at least give some veneer of objectivity. I called other person's names like Soldier Barry. Was he at the meeting?
"Let's say I erred with De Lima, I also called Soldier Barry. Did I err with him (too)?
"If he (Soldier Barry) was there and De Lima wasn't, fine. Then tell me. I called George Bell, did you call him to ask him who was there?
Bell said yesterday De Lima was not present at the meeting he attended and the issue of destabilising the country was not discussed.
"I never saw Mr De Lima other than in the newspapers or TV," Bell stated.
Warner said he said there were 15 persons. He said if there were 13, then he was wrong on the figures. But the media should investigate who the 13 persons were and tell the country. "I have all the names," he said.
"Did you call Barry Thomas and ask whether he was there also?" Warner asked.
Warner said the error he made in retrospect was to call De Lima a former member of the COP.
"I thought he had resigned. If he did not, I apologise for calling him former," he said.
However, he stressed he was not talking about any party, but was dealing purely with the individuals who were there present at the meeting.
Speaking in the Defence Force Amendment Bill last Friday, Warner spoke of a plot to destabilise the country. He said one of the persons present at that meeting was later held with others in connection with the assassination plot to kill the Prime Minister and several ministers.
Congress of the People Leader Prakash Ramadhar has called on Warner to apologise for his statement about De Lima. He said he was optimistic that Warner would do so.
"The party is very troubled that allegations of such gravity and magnitude could be made against any citizen," Ramadhar said, adding that he had known De Lima all of his professional life and in a private capacity and knew him to be a patriot and a man of exemplary character.
Up to yesterday there was no request to have a response placed on the parliamentary record.