The political battle between Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar seems to be heading for the courts as Persad-Bissessar has given instructions to her lawyers to initiate legal action against the Prime Minister for statements he made about her during a news conference on Friday.
Dr Rowley hosted a news conference in a room at the Parliament building on Friday, to respond to comments Persad-Bissessar had made at a news conference earlier in the day.
The both were addressing the visit of Venezuelan Vice-President Delcy Rodriguez to T&T last month which came shortly before a shipment of fuel from this country to Aruba, was further sent to Venezuela.
US sanctions prohibit the sale of fuel to Venezuela.
After Persad-Bisessar disclosed documents showing that senior executives of the Venezuelan state oil company, PDVSA, was also on the aircraft that brought the Venezuelan Vice-President here, Rowley criticised her actions as unpatriotic and closed the news conference with the words, “You are a traitor lady.”
Persad-Bissessar, in response, referred to the Prime Minister as a “shameless Judas”.
Speaking with the media yesterday during a hamper-distribution drive at the UNC’s San Fernando Regional Office on Lazzari Street, San Fernando, Persad-Bissessar revealed her intention to take legal action.
“All the lies, in addition to his very, very abusive language and defamatory language used on that day with respect to my comments and to myself, I have placed the matter in the hands of my lawyers to take pre-action protocol with respect to defamation action against the Prime Minister for his totally baseless allegations made on Friday evening after my press conference,” she said.
She told members of the media that after providing documents to support her statement on Friday, “in response the Prime Minister had no defence but to admit what I was saying was true—that these officials from PDVSA came and visited him.”
‘So that matter will be taking place,” she added, in reference to the defamation action.
When she spoke at that said news conference, Persad-Bissessar produced a manifest from the March 27 flight that brought Venezuela’s Rodriguez to the country for a brief meeting.
She also queried whether the T&T Government had talks on the Paria Fuel Company fuel deal during that meeting although it was announced Rodriguez had come to discuss COVID-19-related matters.
PM stands his ground
In a media statement on the Office of the Prime Minister Facebook page, Dr Rowley sought to once again clear the air.