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Rowley: No one to blame but himself

Warner fails to declare TCU account

By Joel Julien joel.julien@trinidadexpress.com

NATIONAL Security Minister Jack Warner has no one but himself to blame for his $600,000 omission in the declaration of his assets to the Integrity Commission, Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley said yesterday.

The Sunday Express exclusively reported this week that Warner had not declared his assets in the Teachers' Credit Union to the Integrity Commission within recent years.

According to a document obtained by the Sunday Express, Warner has shares in his name which were valued at $611,126.23 as at January 1, 2011.

In response to the nondisclosure of this asset, Warner blamed his accountant.

Speaking at his final biweekly press conference for the year held at the Opposition Leader's Charles Street, Port of Spain office, Rowley said Warner had no one to blame but himself.

"I am an officer in public life falling under the Integrity in Public Life Act and to the best of my knowledge the last time I read that Act there was no mention of an accountant. The legal responsibility is for the officer," Rowley said.

Rowley said it was "ludicrous" for Warner to try to shift the blame.

"Complying is an onerous thing but when you put your signature on a document it is ludicrous to talk about who wrote the document," Rowley said.

"In my own case you would observe that I was a little late this year and quite embarrassingly had my name published as a person who did not file but I did have in my hand the file when it was published. I was waiting on the very last bit of information because you cannot put estimates in, you have to put everything in and once you sign it that signature on the document you take full responsibility for the content," he said.

"It is a lot of detailed information, and a lot of it is numbers that have to be accurate and once you sign the form, if the form is not accurate you are under penalty of having committed a crime. That is something you have to bear in mind that even if you do it innocently it can be interpreted that you have done something wrong so you have to be very careful before you put your information on it and that is why I put my signature there at the very last moment trying to be as accurate and as complete as possible," Rowley said.

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