Lutchmedial, Moonilal dismiss PM’s defence of Cummings

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

OPPOSITION Senator Jayanti Lutchmedial and Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal are dismissing the Prime Minister’s statements that there was no proof to support opposition allegations against Youth Development Minister Foster Cummings.

At a recent UNC meeting in San Fernando, Lutchmedial alleged that a 2019 Special Branch report contained allegations against Cummings, who is also La Horquetta/Talparo MP. Cummings has denied the allegations and initiated legal action against Lutchmedial.

At a post-Cabinet news conference at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s, Dr Rowley said he was not making a defence for Cummings.

As Prime Minister, Rowley said he must first ascertain the “quality” of the information in the report.

“If there is something for the police to act on, I’d expect the police would act. He said special-branch reports were graded and “should be taken with some condiments or some salt.”

He said the report was an initial alert, classed as intelligence but, by itself, had no weight in a court of law.

Lutchmedial said, “Anyone with a moderate IQ and basic knowledge of national security would see that yesterday’s press conference was just a poor attempt at a deflection from the real issues.”

She added, “I’m curious if it is that the Prime Minister does not have confidence in the work of the Special Branch and their capabilities and simply disregarded the intelligence which they collected.”

Moonilal described Rowley’s statement as hypocritical. He claimed to have been removed from a parliamentary joint select committee in February 2020 because Special Branch had “a jotting” that he met with criminal elements in two different locations.

“On that jotting, I was removed from a JSC by a vote of the PNM.”

Moonilal did not understand how Rowley could describe the report on Cummings as neither facts nor evidence. “Rubbish.”

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