The battles lines have been drawn between Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Oropouche East MP, Dr Roodal Moonilal.
This followed a statement in Parliament last Friday, made by Moonilal, who was forced to withdraw it by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Bridgid Annisette-George.
The statement offended Rowley who issued a statement on Monday on the Facebook page of the Office of the Prime Minister, threatening legal action against Moonilal, a former Minister of Housing.
But Moonilal remains unfazed.
Moonilal responded, “we are going by alphabetical order CEPEP, EMBD and now Rowley.”
He said, “I am now compiling more information, with the intention of approaching the United States authorities because I have no confidence in the Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago.”
Moonilal said he had “no problem with Dr Rowley. He was not in Parliament and was not properly briefed. I never said he had a bank account or received money.”
He said the Attorney General asked the Speaker to invoke section 48(6) of the Standing Orders of Parliament “calling on me to take ownership of what I said, it was with the intention of them sending me to the Privileges Committee and perhaps having me out of the Parliament until 2020.”
Section 48-6 of the Standing Orders states ‘No Member shall impute improper motive to any Member of either House.’
Moonilal said it was not his job to investigate matters. “I simply raised it to bring it to the AG’s attention for him to investigate and follow the money.”
WHAT ROWLEY SAID
“On Friday 15 December, 2017, during a sitting of the House of Representatives, the Member of Parliament for Oropouche East, Dr Roodal Moonilal made a number of false statements of which he declined to take ownership and subsequently withdrew. These false and malicious statements were suggestive of payments being made by AV Drilling to the Honourable Prime Minister and/or his wife.
These false and malicious statements by Dr Moonilal have since been promoted via social media by persons associated with the opposition, the United National Congress (UNC).
The Honourable Prime Minister, Dr Keith Rowley states categorically that there is no truth to any suggestion that either he, or his wife, or anyone whatsoever on his behalf, received any wire transfer or cheque payment or any payment whatsoever, from or on behalf of AV Drilling.
The Honourable Prime Minister and his wife state without hesitation and without fear of contradiction that neither of them operates any foreign bank account outside of Trinidad and Tobago. Any and all statements, innuendoes or assertions however made by Dr Roodal Moonilal or any other person contradictory to this are nothing but patent falsehoods concocted by such persons as a deliberate slanderous conspiracy for self-serving political gain.
The Honourable Prime Minister intends to pursue legal action against those who have re-published this falsehood and has already so instructed his Attorneys.
The Board of Petrotrin continues to deal with the allegations of overpayment for oil and the Government awaits the outcome of their actions. This Government’s track record against corruption speaks for itself and the Honourable Prime Minister assures that he will defend his family and his good name to the fullest extent that the law provides.”
DR KEITH ROWLEY
DR ROODAL MOONILAL