Moonilal: Pastor must tell all on SSA

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Oropouche East MP and the UNC’s shadow national security minister Dr Roodal Moonilal. –

OROPOUCHE East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal has said Pastor Ian Brown must say what he knows about the circumstances which led to Strategic Services Agency (SSA) director Major Roger Best being sent on administrative leave, Brig-Gen Anthony Phillips-Spencer being made acting SSA director and the agency’s operations being reviewed.

Brown has claimed to be an intelligence officer at the SSA.

In an interview on Power 102fm on March 12, Brown said he would have confidential information released to the public if he is killed.

He said he believed his life was now in danger and had lodged sensitive documents with three attorneys who are instructed to release them publicly if he were killed.

In a statement on March 13, Moonilal said Brown’s revelations are essential, since the Prime Minister has not accounted for events at the SSA.

“Pastor Brown should provide the relevant details to the national community.”

He also called for Brown to be given sanctuary.

Moonilal reiterated claims he first made in the House of Representatives on March 6 about events at the SSA being related to alleged investigations into two government officials.

He was questioning Dr Rowley about the SSA at that time, but Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George ruled his claims as out of order.

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar repeated Moonilal’s claims at a UNC meeting in Pointe-a-Pierre on Monday.

Moonilal also called on Commissioner of Police (CoP) Erla Harewood-Christopher to say what she knows about the events at the SSA.

A statement on March 3 from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) said, “The National Security Council (NSC) has recommended to the Cabinet that the head of the SSA be replaced immediately and that new leadership and management be installed with despatch.”

Rowley is the chairman of the NSC and head of the Cabinet.

The OPM added, “This recommendation has been effected and as of Saturday March 2 the head of the SSA (Best) has been sent on administrative leave.”

Best was appointed in July 2019 on a three-year contract.

Phillips-Spencer was recalled from Washington, DC, where he was Trinidad and Tobago’s ambassador, on March 2 and appointed acting SSA director by President Christine Kangaloo.

The OPM said Phillips-Spencer had ordered an extensive review and audit of all personnel, equipment and processes in the SSA.

At a sod-turning ceremony for a new housing project in Laventille on March 12, Rowley asked for patience with respect to the investigations at the SSA.

He rejected repeated opposition claims about a nefarious agenda at the agency.

“We have a challenge and investigations are going on and action is being taken to right the ship. I said in English that the Government responded to information from the police, and any kindergarten child would know from that that there is a police investigation going on.”