Kamla: Jack delusional
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar hit back at ILP political leader Jack Warner yesterday calling him “delusional” and daring him to prove any of his allegations made against her.
Warner, in the aftermath of his arrest on a United States indictment for fraud, bribery and corruption charges over his tenure as a FIFA vice president, vowed to take down the Prime Minister and her Government.
He first claimed links between FIFA funding and the People’s Partnership 2010 general election campaign, said he rented a house for Persad-Bissessar and her sister in St Augustine, paid for the studies of Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal’s wife, alleged a cover-up over a marijuana find at the Prime Minister’s private home in 2013, and has raised speculation about persons named “Christian” and “SRP Jit Hardeen”, calling on the Prime Minister to say who they are, or else he would.
Facing media personnel seeking answers from her to Warner’s latest claims made at a cottage meeting in San Fernando on Wednesday night, Persad-Bissessar yesterday said she knew of many “Christians”.
“Well I am aware of several Christians, I think the Pope is a Christian and he is in the news right now, if I am not mistaken,” she said after the sod-turning for a housing project in San Fernando yesterday.
A reporter repeated, “a Christian”, to which Persad-Bissessar quipped, “ are you a Christian, Sir?” The reporter mumbled something inaudible, but the Prime Minister answered for him, “yes you are, now if Mr Warner would be so kind as to specify which of the Christians he is speaking about, we’ll be happy to speak further on it.”
Told by another reporter that Christian’s last name may be Gookool, Persad-Bissessar said she knew of a Christian Gookool, her neighbour in Philipine.
“Christian Gookool is my neighbour, at the Philipine residence, one of the properties belongs to him and his father and his wife,” she said.
Asked whether Gookool was a recipient of government contracts, she said, “not to my knowledge has Mr Christian Gookool received any government contracts, I am not aware of any such contracts.”
The questioning then turned to another of Warner’s allegations that she had asked him if she should resign when a plant-like substance was discovered at her home, and Persad-Bissessar countered the question of resignation should be directed to Warner, who stepped down as National Security Minister following the release on April 19, 2013 of the Sir David Simmons report into allegations of corruption at CONCACAF, of which he was president.
“I think you may want to ask Mr Warner why he resigned on the very next day when I returned to the country and therefore which resignation has he spoken about,” she said. A reporter asked whether she was saying she had never offered her resignation.
“Of course not, I have gone through five years of office with people calling upon me to resign every day, would I ask someone should I resign?” she said. “No, totally not true.” She further questioned the term “drug find” before asking the media to ask Warner to clearly identify who was the person known as Christian.
“I said you should ask Mr Warner about the issue of the Christian person, I didn’t say that about the alleged substance found,” she said. “If you are referring to the comments made by the police on this matter, I look forward to the police investigating their own conduct and therefore I would say no more on that since it is in the hands of a police investigation into their own conduct with regards to whatever happened, whatever is reported to have happened,” she said. Asked whether she had been told about the alleged substance which had been found, she said, “I was told.”
“What was your reaction?” asked a reporter. “What was my reaction?” Persad-Bissessar repeated, before ansering “very horrified and very disturbed.”
“What happened after that?” another reporter questioned. “I would ask you to let the police complete their investigations and then we should know what has happened,’ she said.
Then, Persad-Bissessar questioned Warner’s state of mind when pressed about his continued allegations against her.
“Quite frankly Mr Warner is delusional. You know there is something that says, ‘he who alleges must prove’ and I await Mr Warner to prove any of the allegations that he has made,” she said.
Persad-Bissessar continued: “In the case, the police have reported something was found, the police will investigate that, go ahead and find it. Mr Warner says I was in New York on the 12th (April 2013), I could bring my passport and I could show you I was in the country, I left the country on the 14th, so now he is shifting the goal posts at every single moment, shifting the base, I think he is delusional quite frankly.”
Asked about the public perception about the continued allegations, she said this was Warner’s method of remaining relevant in the general election race.