Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has dismissed allegations made on political platforms by her former Cabinet minister Jack Warner as “fanciful claims”.
Specifically, Persad-Bissessar said if Warner, who is now the interim political leader of the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) had evidence of wiretapping he should substantiate them.
She was speaking to reporters upon her return to Trinidad at the Piarco International Airport yesterday, after her four-day trip to Panama, where she attended the Americas Competitiveness Forum.
“It is very easy to give wild allegations, unsubstantiated allegations and then when given the opportunity to substantiate those allegations you (cannot). I have no evidence whatsoever. I cannot put my head on a block for it. I have no evidence that any wiretapping is taking place by any government agency or otherwise... Whether authorised or authorised, I have no information (about any wiretapping). Mr Warner made all kinds of fanciful claims—what credibility does he have for us to believe what he said? There are those who believe he was the one who did the tapping so he is reversing everything. (If he has information) let him bring it forward,” she said.
She also hit back at questions about Warner’s statements at another recent ILP rally that before he clears his name she needs to come clean regarding “emailgate” and write to Google as the Integrity Commission suggested.
“I don’t know why I must respond to any allegation Mr Warner makes. The Integrity Commission wrote to us. I passed the letter to my lawyer and my lawyer has indicated our willingness to work with that. We have always from day one indicated our willingness to cooperate in whatever way,” she said.
She also said that regarding Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley’s statements that she should provide evidence of her claims of collusion between him and Warner, that on Monday when she next takes the political platform she will.
She said she will be meeting later with representatives of the United National Congress (UNC) to discuss the upcoming local government elections.
“So far the reports I’ve had are very good. We are waging a ground war rather than an airwave war, with candidates walking through areas,” she said.
Persad-Bissessar, when questioned about whether talk show host Ian Alleyne would contest the St Joseph by-election on November 4 for the UNC, said that the party had not yet chosen a candidate.
About her trip to Panama, the Prime Minster announced that she had talks with COPA Airlines, particularly about sale of locally produced jet fuel to the airline as a possible source of revenue.
She added that there were also further talks on a preferential trade agreement with Panama where Trinidad will be able to export up to 230 types of goods to Panama, and they can export up to 248 types of goods.