PM: No witch hunt


THE Prime Minister today categorically rejected claims by People’s National Movement (PNM) member Harry Ragoonanan that he is the subject of a witch hunt within the party. Dr Rowley is also PNM political leader.

Speaking with reporters at the River Run Through Housing Development in Arima, he said Ragoonanan has no basis upon which to claim he is the victim of anything or that he opposed corruption.

The PM said the allegations of corruption against Ragoonanan deal with the procurement of buses for the Public Transport Service Corporation. He said due process is being followed within the party and Ragoonanan has been given the opportunity to defend himself.

Rowley said unlike other political parties, the PNM rigidly adheres to its constitution and procedures. At a news conference on Thursday, National Security Minister Stuart Young said the State played no role in the electronic recording of someone sounding like Ragoonanan allegedly talking about corruption in the procurement of buses for the PTSC.

Acting Attorney General Fitzgerald Hinds said the recording “raised serious issues for us in the PNM.” He said the allegations against Ragoonanan were referred to the party’s investigations committee. Hinds said Ragoonanan refused to attend two meetings of the committee and sent a lawyer to the third. Saying Ragoonanan had his opportunity to reply in accordance with the rules of natural justice, Hinds said the PNM’s disciplinary committee will meet tomorrow to discuss the report on Ragoonanan, submitted by the investigations committee.

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