Two days ago, we “buss” the mark as to the reason why the Attorney General was going after nine former officials of the Housing Development Corporation (HDC).
The sealed documents in the Port-of-Spain High Court have to do with a land transaction.
Two days later, former HDC Managing Director, Jearlean John is saying she has done nothing wrong and when she is done with Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi, “He will have to sue himself.”
At a media conference at the Hyatt on Thursday, John told the AG to bring court proceedings against her for any alleged corruption.
She said she was innocent of any such allegation and not only challenged Al-Rawi to serve her the proceedings but put him on notice that when he does, she could then make the public aware of matters related to his tenure at the HDC. As John outlined her position yesterday, she said, “Number one, there is something in an organisation called a delegation of financial authority. So, my authority at HDC there was $1million.
“I cannot purchase a property for over a million dollars. It’s just impossible. I can’t even say that I want to buy a property as a matter of fact. And you might ask, there is a lot of state land everywhere, as was posed to us by the Integrity Commission.
“That is not so, because, during my tenure, I was out on the field with the then Commissioner of State lands, looking for land. We were able to put in writing and send Mr Chunilal, who was then the Commissioner of State Lands, a letter to the HDC that there were, in fact, no state lands.”
John pointed out that it was the government’s policy at the time, to purchase land and all she did was follow the stipulated process. After stating that she followed the proper protocol in the matter, John went straight to what she felt was the heart of the matter: the Government’s attempt to disparage her work at the HDC.
She questioned the delay in Al-Rawi serving proceedings, saying she and Al-Rawi are not friends and, “only friends keep secrets for friends.” John questioned the legitimacy of the allegations made against her, suggesting that Al-Rawi cannot substantiate his claims, because if he could, he would have already served the proceedings.
She added, “So I’m expecting that this Attorney General will come quickly and file or serve his proceedings. You see, what I’ve noticed is that this is a government of smear and innuendos, and ‘ole talk’, and ‘standpipe talk.’ Instead of going about their business and running the country, they are looking to see how they can substantiate smears against people. Now, somehow you can’t substantiate it, because you know what, facts are stubborn things…Our process document at HDC developed by me is 1,502 pages. I’m very meticulous…
“You know what will save my life today? The documentation.
“In addition to which, whenever there was a matter of procurement, I was never involved. I strongly believe that the objective of these people is real to disparage and destroy my tenure at HDC. And I urge the Attorney General to serve his proceedings quickly!”
Additionally, John said when she receives the proceedings, she will share with the public, the details of Al Rawi’s tenure there (at the HDC) as acting chairman. She promised that when she gets through with him, “he will sue himself!” John remained staunch in her stance that she is guilty of no wrong.
“Posers!” she called members of the Government. “Posers!”
John’s attorney, Gerald Ramdeen, provided the media with a packet of documents, all in chronological order, detailing events surrounding the acquisition of land at Eden Gardens in Freeport, in supporting his client’s innocence.
Included in the packet was a letter from Ramdeen, dated November 9 to the Registrar of the Supreme Court, requesting that John is served with the proceedings and stating that his client John, “was entitled to due process and the protection of the law.”
Ramdeen also referenced the fact that on October 21, 2014, the Integrity Commission cleared John of corruption charges in the acquisition of lands at Eden Gardens, Calcutta Road No. 2.