Tuesday 29 September, 2020

Young to take legal action after newspaper article

File photo.

File photo.

National Security Minister Stuart Young intends to pursue legal action following the publication of an article in the Express newspaper regarding his recusals from Cabinet notes due to conflicts of interest involving relatives.

The Minister’s recusals over a four-year period have been brought into public scrutiny following a Freedom of Information request by Dr Che Dindial earlier this month which details both Young and the Attorney General’s recusals from Cabinet notes.

Young just a day earlier addressed the matter of his recusals by providing a personal explanation. He maintained that his family has not personally or financially benefitted from the award of Government contracts during his tenure as a minister under the current administration.

But at a media conference on Sunday to provide further clarification, Young indicated that he would be pursuing his legal options. He has advised his father, Richard Young, to pursue legal action against the paper and the reporter as he is also mentioned in the article.

In announcing that he would be taking legal action against the newspaper, the reporter who wrote the article, the editor and the United National Congress (UNC) leader, the Minister said he took no pleasure in taking action against the media.

He noted that there have been instances in which he has not pursued legal action but, this time around, a line has been crossed.

Young questioned the timing of the revelation, saying that this appeared to be a well-timed political distraction.

He said it was an obvious attempt by the UNC to sway votes with just a week to go before the General Election.

The Minister was yet to meet with his lawyers to finalise how he would proceed in the matter.

In response to Young, UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar chastised the Minister for misleading the public and attempting to distract from the real issues.

“In the midst of this terrifying COVID pandemic, his primary concern was to attack the UNC and the media for raising legitimate issues about contracts awarded by the cabinet in which his family had a personal interest.”

Persad-Bissessar said in the Minister’s attempt to provide clarification, he has once again put his foot in his mouth.

She maintained that Young’s response raises more questions than answers.

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