April 21, 2021

Trinidad government mum on video allegedly portraying official with drugs, women

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Anil-RobertsBy Peter Richards From Caribbean360

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Friday May 22, 2014, CMC – The Trinidad and Tobago government Thursday said it would not comment on a video aired on television here showing a man who looks like a Government minister partying with marijuana and women in a hotel room.

“The Government sees this as nothing more than a vicious attempt at character assassination and will not validate it with any further commentary.

“Nothing should detract the population from the very real positive changes they encounter due to the people’s revolution. The evidence of that is what the Opposition wants the population to forget,” the government said in a prepared statement.

Earlier, Sports Minister Anil Roberts, who said he had not seen the video when it was aired during the newscast of one of the television stations here on Wednesday night, said he was assuring the nation that “it is a total absolute fabrication”.

He recalled that last year, a weekly newspaper had published a story, making reference to a “loud mouth minister” who was partying with marijuana and women in room 201 of an unidentified hotel.

“Let me assure the population that is a total fabrication and it is absolute rubbish it is a total concoction,” Roberts told reporters as he emerged from the weekly Cabinet meeting.

“I know you’ll have come here to talk about video…let me tell you and let me tell the nation and especially Dr. Keith Christopher Rowley (Opposition Leader)…no video, no music video, no video game or no voodoo could ever stop me from letting the population know that Dr. Keith Rowley is the worst thing that could possibly happen to Trinidad and Tobago.

“I was expecting something, I was expecting many things, now if this video is all they could do well PNM (People’s National Movement) you will have to come better than that,” Roberts said, insisting that he was not the person seen in the video and that the matter was now in the hands of his attorneys.

The Congress of the people (COP), party, the second biggest member of the four-party coalition government here, said having seen the video, it has invited” A COP Minister” to an urgent clarification meeting with the party on Thursday. Roberts is a member of the COP.

“The COP has also requested a copy of the video footage from the television station to assist it in its attempt to clarify the matter. Having completed its own investigation, the COP will take any further action that may warranted.”

COP Leader, Prakash Ramadhar, who is also the Legal Affairs Minister, said that the party is “treating this situation with the urgency it deserves, while at the same time ensuring that we do so in manner which is fair to all concerned”.

In the video, a man is shown partying with marijuana and women and according to the Trinidad Express newspaper “the video clip shows an individual who resembles and even sounds like a prominent government minister unwrapping a cigarette, placing a quantity of marijuana inside the cigarette skin, and then rolling it all back together, all in the presence of a group of people, mainly comprising of women”.

The video itself appears to be from a hidden camera, but there was no time stamp on it, making it fairly difficult to officially determine when it was shot or where it was shot, and by whom.

Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar, who was contacted by the television station and asked if she was aware of the video and what it could potentially mean for her government, indicated that she would not be able to make any official comments until she saw the footage herself.

In its statement, the coalition government said the “it is rather peculiar that an undated video, framing what is alleged to be a Minister of Government surfaces – one that carries no evidence of anything but a distraction from the real burning issues of the day, some of which were raised by the Honourable Minister of Sport, Anil Roberts”

It said that “any attempt to answer the questions on the video would serve the agenda of an Opposition so desperate to distract the population from the achievements summarised in the fourth Anniversary of the People’s Partnership, that it would go to any length. “

The statement recalls that it was Roberts who had raised “critical questions” of the Opposition Leader during a recent debate in Parliament adding “those questions remain more relevant today than any video of an alleged Minister rolling an unidentified substance.

“There is no relevance to the political theatre crafted by agents of mischief, produced and directed with obvious intent to distract from issues that affect the population. “

The government statement said that the video is yet another distraction to prevent the population from the progress made since the coalition came to power on May 24, 2010.

Meanwhile, the trade union movement says it has been given permission to stage a protest march in the streets of the capital on Friday against the policies of the coalition government.

The unions said the march is open to all citizens and organisations and the PNM has urged its supporters to participate in the protest march.


For more on this story go to: http://www.caribbean360.com/news/trinidad-government-mum-on-video-allegedly-portraying-official-with-drugs-women?utm_source=Caribbean360%20Newsletters&utm_campaign=0fc9ce80c5-5_23_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_350247989a-0fc9ce80c5-39393477


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