Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Equality Council asks IC to probe Warner

The Equality Council of Trinidad and Tobago (ECTT) has written to the Chairman of the Integrity Commission (IC) asking Ken Gordon to launch an investigation into Jack Warner's declarations and statements of registrable interests.

In the letter dated October 30, 2013, ECTT chair Kristal Ramroopsingh-Maharaj is asking the IC to conduct an investigation based on reports in the Trinidad Express newspaper alleging that Warner failed to faithfully declare his income and assets.

Warner has been the Member of Parliament since November 05, 2007 except for a brief period between April and July 2013 during which time he had resigned. He won re-election on July 26.

Ramroopsingh-Maharaj, who is also the spouse of Agriculture Minister Devant Maharaj, noted several instances reported in the Express where Warner might have been in breach of the Integrity in Public Life act. 

She said Warner’s failure to disclose the receipt of the significant funds "is in clear contravention with Section 21(b) of the Act which says that any person who knowingly makes a declaration that is false is guilty of an offence, and liable on summary conviction to a fine of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars and to imprisonment for a term of ten years."

She added that Warner would also be in breach of Section 14(3) of the Act "which requires a person in public life to file a statement of registrable interests detailing amongst other things, the name or description of any company, partnership or association in which the person is an investor and particulars relating to sources of income."

The ECTT chair said her organisation is "extremely concerned" over the media reports. "What is even more concerning is the fact that Mr Warner to date has not denied or merely responded to any of the statements made in the Express articles," she said in her letter.

She added, "The ECTT is further alarmed at the Integrity Commission’s silence on the matter as several breaches of the Act were outlined in the articles."

Ramroopsingh-Maharaj charged that in comparison to other matters handled by the IC "there is a stark dissimilarity with those cases and the current matter at hand", citing the so-called "Emailgate investigation", which was first brought to the public’s attention on 19th May 2013. 

"In light of the foregoing, the ECTT would like to make a formal complaint concerning the declarations and statements of registrable interests filed by Mr Warner and request that an investigation be promptly launched into the matter," Ramroopsingh-Maharaj stated.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai