Tuesday, January 16, 2018

...still awaiting Anil’s ‘ganja video’ report

Although three weeks have passed since the “ganja video” went viral, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said yesterday she was still awaiting a report from Sport Minister Anil Roberts.

Rumours were rife yesterday that Roberts had been fired from the Cabinet but when the media questioned Persad-Bissessar , she responded: “Really, who fired him?”

She said it was just rumours and she was still awaiting his report, which she expects to receive soon.

The Prime Minister said she was also waiting for the audit report of the LifeSport programme which fell under Roberts’s ministry.

She confirmed that she did have discussions with Roberts on the programme, but did not want comment any further as she was awaiting the audit report.

Legal Affairs Minister Prakash Ramadhar, political leader of the Congress of the People (COP), was also present yesterday at the formal opening ceremony of the Piarco Police Station and, when questioned, said the COP stood firm in its position to suspend Roberts from the party.

Ramadhar said the COP was responsible in calling Roberts in to provide clarification on the video and the party executive decided to suspend him because he had failed to cooperate.

He said the door was still open for Roberts to come and provide answers to the COP.

Asked if he had his own way in dealing with the matter, what would he do differently, Ramadhar said, “I had my own way, I said due process.”

He explained that Roberts was given full opportunity to provide clarity but chose not to.

Ramadhar stressed that one must not jump to conclusions as it relates to the video but he noted that public perception was of concern.

“Because there is a high suspicion we took a political decision and, of course, Mr Roberts is entitled to his legal rights to challenge that in the court and we are willing to meet that challenge at any given time,” said Ramadhar.

—Anna Ramdass