‘Outraged’ de Nobriga claims Sabga trying to deflect

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Symon de Nobriga. FILE PHOTO –

MINISTER in the Office of the Prime Minister Symon de Nobriga has expressed “outrage” at Robert Sabga – chairman of a Cabinet-appointed committee who also authored the committee’s report on abuse and violence against children in the country, 25 years ago.

In thanking the Prime Minister for calling on the police commissioner to investigate the Sabga report and take action against those found culpable in acts of abuse and violence against children, as outlined in the 1997 report, de Nobriga also took Sabga himself to task for allegedly trying to deflect attention away from the report.

“As a parent and a citizen I cannot reconcile myself to accept that among those who must be made to answer would not also include those responsible for its suppression; including the author of the report; Victimologist, Robert Sabga,” the Diego Martin Central MP said in a post on his Facebook page on Tuesday.

De Nobriga, a minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, said the cover up of the Sabga Task Force Report and subsequent decades of continued abuse of children and minors, was a stain on the nation.

That Mr Sabga would now try to deflect from the responsibility that he shirked in the burying of his own report, de Nobriga said, by turning our minds and hearts to yet another tragedy of our past, while playing the party card, “is as unfortunately typical as it is outrageous.”

De Nobriga pointed out that the death of Akiel Chambers occurred an entire year after the 1997 Sabga report and also before DNA capability in this country.

“That he (Sabga) is now rushing to implicate some now dead man and painting him in party colours as a distraction is shameful,” de Nobriga said.

The minister said Sabga, who he (de Nobriga) claimed was later given a diplomatic posting, should be made to answer questions along with others, as a result of Dr Rowley’s call for a police investigation.

“I truly hope the (police) commissioner heeds not only the call of our Prime Minister but the urgency of it as well.

“Those protected by this scandalous veil of secrecy, must be made to account for their actions and that must include the upholders along with the perpetrators, whoever they may be,” de Nobriga said.