Saturday 24 August, 2019

Rowley: No politics in police searches on South ‘mansions’

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has rubbished Opposition claims that the recent searches of seven homes in Gulf View, La Romaine had any political connection.

Responding to questions during Prime Minister’s question time in Parliament on Monday, Rowley labelled as “mischievous” claims by the Opposition that the police searches were illegal and politically motivated.

Addressing concerns raised by Caroni Central MP Dr Bhoendradatt Tewarie that the searches were conducted in the absence of search warrants, Rowley cautioned the Opposition against intruding on the operations of law enforcement personnel.

“There is clear route where the police can act or cannot act, and to protect the citizenry there is a provision where warrants are sought on cases presented, but that is not the only way the police can act under specific circumstances, protected under existing law.

It is quite wrong for my colleagues to go out there and tell the population that we have created new law allowing this to happen.”

The Prime Minister said the statements from the Opposition regarding the searches are “mischief of the worst kind” and urged them to refrain from so doing.

Following up on his colleague’s initial inquiry, Charles pressed Rowley further on whether the timing of the raids would give the impression that they were politically motivated.

“I simply want to give my colleague from Naparima and all his colleagues on the other side the assurance that no aspect of law enforcement in Trinidad and Tobago is governed by any election or any perceived election.

Law enforcement is 24/7, every day of the year in this country.”

“We are under criminal attack in this country from the criminal elements and it has nothing to do with the election date. It has to do with law enforcement under the country’s Constitution,” Rowley added.

Speaker of the House Brigid Annisette-George had to intervene and caution the members of parliament who erupted in crosstalk, which saw Diego Martin North East MP Colm Imbert apologising and retracting an outburst.

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: