Was Justice Minister Herbert Volney the high-ranking Government official who was drinking champagne in Tobago with an accused person who stood to benefit from Section 34 of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act?
Without calling names, Diego Martin North East MP Colm Imbert, at the Parliament sitting on Wednesday, claimed a high-ranking Government official was in Tobago last Saturday drinking champagne with a person whose lawyers were preparing applications to file before the court under Section 34.
"I will cast adverse inferences on the high-ranking Government official who was drinking champagne, Dom Perignon no less, with one of the accused persons who could possibly benefit from this Act, in a hotel in Tobago over the weekend," Imbert had said in his contribution to the debate to repeal Section 34.
Contacted yesterday by phone and asked whether he was in fact the high-ranking Government official who Imbert claimed was drinking champagne with an accused person, Volney replied: "You will have to ask Mr Imbert that question."
Asked if he was in Tobago last weekend, Volney replied: "I was in Tobago with my ministry staff, we had a retreat, 125 of us at the Grafton hotel."
On whether he had met either Ishwar Galbaransingh or Steve Ferguson during the Tobago retreat, Volney did not answer but again directed the Express to Imbert.
When contacted, Imbert said he did not name anyone during his contribution and when questioned further refused to divulge any names.
The Express contacted Grafton Beach Resort yesterday and an employee confirmed that the Justice Ministry had held a retreat last Saturday and Sunday at the resort.
The employee also confirmed that business executives Ishwar Galbaransingh was the owner of the resort.
Galbaransingh and Ferguson are accused of bid-rigging and conspiracy to defraud the Government of Trinidad and Tobago during the period March 1, 1997 to December 21, 2000, under charges which arose out of the Piarco Airport Terminal construction.
They, along with several others, were initially charged when the PNM was in office.
On Monday, both men, through their lawyers, petitioned the High Court seeking to have the corruption charges against them discharged.