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Mohammed no-show at news conference

Coup commissioner expected 'to tell all'

By Joel Julien joel.julien@trinidadexpress.com

HE was expected to tell all in relation to allegations that he doctored his curriculum vitae (CV) yesterday.

However, less than two hours before the scheduled start of the press conference, embattled 1990 coup enquiry commissioner, Dr Hafizool Mohammed, postponed the event indefinitely.

Mohammed, one of five commissioners in the enquiry into the 1990 attempted coup, was expected to address these accusations head-on at a news conference yesterday.

The news conference was scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. at the law offices of Mohammed's legal counsel, Martin George, located on the third floor of the Trinidad Guardian Building, 22-24 St Vincent Street in Port of Spain.

Mohammed, who has been absent from the enquiry since sittings resumed on Wednesday, has been seeking legal advice from George over the past week.

"As we continue to act for Commissioner Hafizool Mohammed in relation to the Commission of Enquiry into the 1990 attempted coup, we have today had discussions with chairman of the commission Sir David Simmons and vice-chairman Sir Richard Chelteham along with their attorney Mr Jagdeo Singh – junior attorney to the commission," a release from George's office stated on Thursday.

"As a result, we wish to notify that we shall be hosting a press conference with commissioner Hafizool Mohammed at our Port of Spain offices at 3 p.m. on Friday, February 1, 2013 where we will be addressing among other things, his future on the commission, the events of the last few days and the allegations which surfaced and his responses thereto," Thursday's release stated.

"We shall also be discussing the fact that he has advised us to pursue certain aspects of legal action in defence of his character and reputation. In the circumstances of those instructions for litigation, we wish to discourage unnecessary speculation by all quarters and therefore have decided to have this conference to address all issues, so that the work and business of the commission can remain intact, sacrosanct and can continue unhindered and un-impugned," it stated.

However at 1.26 p.m. yesterday a release from George's office stated that the news conference had been postponed indefinitely.

"Unfortunately, due to ongoing consultations and discussions, Commissioner Hafizool Mohammed would be unable to attend the scheduled press conference today," yesterday's release stated.

"It will be rescheduled to a date and time to be notified and any inconvenience is regretted," the release stated.

Justice Minister Christlyn Moore yesterday added her voice to the Mohammed controversy by distancing herself from ever meeting with him on Thursday as reported in the Guardian newspaper yesterday.

Before her appointment as Justice Minister last year, Moore served as junior counsel to the coup enquiry.

"The senator did not meet with Dr Mohammed on that or any other day for five hours or any other stretch of time with regard to the matters now engaging the public's attention," a release for Moore stated yesterday.

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