Opposition Member of Parliament for Oropouche East, Dr Roodal Moonilal says Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley is yet to file a defamation lawsuit against him.
He says the statement made at the PNM's National Convention on Sunday, that the lawsuit will be heard in the court this week, is false.
The following is a statement issued by Dr Moonilal Monday morning.
"I call upon Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley to retract his false, mischievous and misleading statement that his defamation lawsuit against me will be heard in court this week.
Truth be told, Dr. Rowley is yet to file his claim against me.
I therefore challenge Dr. Rowley to produce a copy of the lawsuit which he claims will come up for hearing in the courts this week.
This is the latest instalment in the diversionary scare tactics that have become the hallmark of Dr. Rowley’s modus operandi.
Dr. Rowley is a spin doctor who understands the relationship between PNM financiers and their influence and control over sections of the media.
This explains the erroneous and scandalous front page headline story in today’s Guardian regarding his claim that there will be a hearing in court this week over statements made in Parliament regarding the infamous relationship between the PNM and AV Drilling.
It is pathetic that while the Prime Minister condemns the flood of fake news on social media he spreads and instigates fake news in the main stream media!!!
Neither my attorneys nor I were contacted to verify whether Dr. Rowley’s utterances were true and correct. Strangely, no journalist asked Dr. Rowley to produce a copy of the claim filed against me which he notified the public would come up for hearing in court this week.
I challenge Dr. Rowley, his attorneys and the media to produce a copy of the claim filed in court by Dr. Rowley against me concerning the statements made in Parliament regarding Dr. Rowley’s close and intimate relationship with AV Drilling.
Unless I have been sued without being served with a copy of the papers in breach of the rules of court, I can safely and categorically state that Dr. Rowley is yet again guilty of misleading and distracting the public.
My attorneys have requested particulars from Dr. Rowley which are yet to be supplied and hence, as far as I am aware, no claim has been filed. Even so, if and when a claim is filed, I am entitled to file a defence before the matter comes up for case management hearing and unless Dr. Rowley is in control of the courts, he is sadly mistaken.
Dr. Rowley’s political deflection fails to comprehend the raw and harsh reality of the thousands of families whose loved ones have been murdered or retrenched. Many families are hovering on the poverty line because the sole bread winner has either been murdered or retrenched from ACELOR MITTAL, PETROTRIN or to be retrenched at TSTT.
Instead of trying to intimidate, harass and bully me, Dr. Rowley would do well to address the burning issues that escape his attention including rising unemployment, uncontrollable crime and the mismanagement of the economy.
In particular, I ask that Dr. Rowley to frontally address the issue of his relationship between the PNM and AV Drilling and clarify whether the witnesses in the arbitration between AV Drilling and PETROTRIN have been retrenched in an effort to sabotage PETROTRIN’s case so that AV Drilling can profit.
The public must know how much millions AV Drilling stands to gain if it wins the arbitration against PETROTRIN and whether the closure of PETROTRIN compromises this arbitration to the benefit of AV Drilling. Given AV Drilling’s confirmed status as a PNM financier, these urgent questions deserve an answer.
In the meantime, I assure the nation that I am not afraid of Dr. Rowley. I will not be intimidated by his bullying and scare tactics and I remain resolute and determined to get to the bottom of the relationship between AV Drilling and the PNM.
If and when Dr. Rowley dares to file any lawsuit against me on this issue, I look forward to him being cross-examined in the witness box so that he can explain his friendship with Mr. Nazim Baksh in the public interest and in the interest of justice.
The Prime Minister ought not to be implicating the judiciary into his political conspiracy to undermine my character. This is reckless and unbecoming of a Prime Minister."