Monday, February 19, 2018

Rowley: PS forced to flee T&T, threatened by criminals

‘Dana case not isolated’

A PERMANENT secretary was forced to flee from this country after having his life threatened by criminals, Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley has said.

Rowley said the assassination of senior counsel Dana Seetahal on Sunday morning therefore was not an “isolated event” but a reflection of the state the country has sunk to.

Rowley made the statements as he delivered the feature address at a People’s National Movement (PNM) political meeting held on Sunday night at St Anthony’s College in Diego Martin.

“The last report of the Auditor General is replete with all kinds of wrongdoings, the language is soft in some cases, the language is harsh in some cases but a whole truck load of wrongdoings and what has happened? Absolutely nothing except that in one particular case, with one particular arrangement, with one particular ministry I am advised that a permanent secretary has run from this country to save his life a few days ago because the criminal element went after him and he left the country in fear of his life and the root of that is wrongdoing inside a government ministry,” Rowley said.

“So if you all think that the killing of Dana Seetahal is an isolated event, it is a reflection of an environment which Trinidad and Tobago has become,” he said.

Rowley extended his condolences to the Seetahal family.

“I want to extend my deepest condolences to the Seetahal family and Trinidad and Tobago is a far poorer place for the execution of Dana Seetahal. She was an outstanding citizen, one who was making a contribution every day in a particularly difficult area and I am hoping against hope that when the facts of that situation arises it does not turn out that her killing has anything to do with the job that she does on a daily basis,” Rowley said.

Rowley said fear must not become the order of the day in the judicial system.

“When fear becomes the currency in the judicial system only those who will survive are those who will have the brutish character to make the rest of our lives short and brutish,” he said.

“Once you do not have a proper judicial system which is run without fear and favour the life that we have known in Trinidad and Tobago will disappear like the blowing out of a candle,” Rowley said.

Rowley told Attorney General Anand Ramlogan not to disrespect Seetahal’s legacy.

“This morning he (Ramlogan) said something in this most sorrowful day...I got a call this morning about half past four to be given the tragic news of that outrage that took place in Woodbrook but I heard the Attorney General saying that he was called by Miss Seetahal and was told that she wrote a letter supporting him in this matter (of the probe into the AG’s office),” Rowley said.

“And he was so grateful for it and he was actually considering putting her on his investigating committee. Now I mean AG don’t disrespect the lady’s memory,” he said.

“If it is she has already written and taken a public position and published it how could you consider putting her on any investigating committee,” Rowley said.