|Karen Nunez-Tesheira on the witness stand Monday|
The former Finance Minister made the statement under cross examination by Harnarine's lawyer at the CLICO/HCU commission of enquiry.
She said she knew that the UDeCOTT had made an offer to buy the HCU's "Twin Towers" for $40 million before she went into government. She said her understanding of the transaction was that the negotiations fell through because the HCU was asking for more than the market value for the towers.
The former minister said she cannot remember all the discussions on the matter. However she said her boss at the time, Prime Minister Patrick Manning, asked her to meet with Harnarine to see what assistance the government could give to the HCU.
She had to go abroad so Mariano Browne, a minister in the finance ministry, subsequently met with Harnarine but Nunez Tesheira said she cannot recall if she instructed Browne to meet with the HCU boss. However she admitted that Browne reported to her that the HCU needed assistance of $71 million.
Harnarine has claimed he was negotiating for the sale and also a loan from the First Citizens' Bank. However she said she does not have any recollection of Harnarine or the HCU wanting financial assistance in addition to the sale of the property in Chaguanas.