Trinidad PM claims assassins were hired to kill him and AG

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Trinidad PM claims assassins were hired to kill him and AG
Dr Keith Rowley
Dr Keith Rowley

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) — Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley has claimed that as­sas­sins were hired to kill him just be­fore the 2015 gen­er­al elec­tion and that an emer­gency meet­ing was held re­cent­ly to or­gan­ise protection for At­tor­ney Gen­er­al Faris Al-Rawi af­ter an­oth­er as­sas­si­na­tion plot was un­cov­ered.

Row­ley made the star­tling rev­e­la­tion as he ad­dressed Peo­ple’s Na­tion­al Move­ment (PNM) sup­port­ers at a post-Bud­get pub­lic meet­ing at Pig­gott’s Cor­ner in Bel­mont on Friday night.

He said the threats on his life came af­ter a smear cam­paign to stop him from be­com­ing prime min­is­ter failed.

“They were so des­per­ate to re­move me from the line up in 2015 that on two oc­ca­sions they hired a killer to kill me,” Row­ley said.

He con­tin­ued: “The first killer re­fused and de­ter­mined that some­body has to know this and went and told a gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial. The gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial came and told us. We told the po­lice.”

His rev­e­la­tion drew shock from his au­di­ence, many re­act­ing with sounds of dis­be­lief as the Prime Minister con­tin­ued to un­veil the plot.

“While we (were) deal­ing with that, they went and found an­oth­er one. He too re­fused and by this time (po­lice) Spe­cial Branch was in­volved and Spe­cial Branch knew about it.”

With the two killers re­fus­ing to car­ry out the al­leged hits, Row­ley re­marked, “There is ho­n­our among thieves in this coun­try? It ap­pears as though there is ho­n­our among killers too.”

The gen­er­al elec­tion of 2015 took place on De­cem­ber 7th and Row­ley re­vealed they had to beef up security around him and his fam­i­ly to en­sure their safe­ty.

“This was on the edge of the elec­tion you know. In the hands of Spe­cial Branch and pri­vate se­cu­ri­ty, I used to be shut­tled from my home to your meet­ings and shut­tled back out,” he said.

“I couldn’t come and mix with you be­cause we nev­er knew… in fact, they were telling me that there were places that I could not go be­cause it was too dan­ger­ous. Un­der­stand? That hap­pened in Trinidad and To­ba­go in 2015.”

They know what they did and what they are fac­ing,” he said.

He re­it­er­at­ed some of what Min­is­ter of Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Stu­art Young men­tioned about high-rank­ing Op­po­si­tion of­fi­cials be­ing in ca­hoots with locked-up crim­i­nals and known gang lead­ers.

“I ex­pect them to squeal like stuck pigs but let me tell you some­thing, you may not see the rea­son but I know the rea­son why they fought so hard against the An­ti-Gang leg­is­la­tion,” he said. “And now I’m hear­ing that they are hav­ing con­ver­sa­tions with known peo­ple who have con­cerns with the po­lice,” he said.

“And those of you who think this is a joke, let me re­mind you, let me re­mind all of you that somebody, some­where in the coun­try, killed Sel­wyn Richard­son and up to this day, that mat­ter has not been solved,” he said.

Row­ley was re­fer­ring to the for­mer na­tion­al se­cu­ri­ty min­is­ter be­tween the years 1989 to 1991. In 1995, Richard­son was gunned down out­side his Cas­cade, Mar­aval home. In the decades that fol­lowed, his mur­der was nev­er solved.

“Des­per­ate peo­ple do des­per­ate things,” he said.

One of the UNC’s oth­er acts of des­per­a­tion, Row­ley said, was try­ing to ac­cuse him of rape be­cause he had fa­thered a child in To­ba­go.

“That dis­grace­ful al­le­ga­tion,” he said.

Row­ley said that the Op­po­si­tion mem­bers who stole pub­lic mon­ey will be held to ac­count. The PNM, he said, has been ac­cu­mu­lat­ing in­for­ma­tion through the le­gal sys­tem.

The Prime Min­is­ter told the meet­ing that there was al­so a threat against the life of Al-Rawi which had to be ad­dressed just weeks ago.

“That is why one of the first meet­ings I had in this coun­try in White­hall was to de­ter­mine how to pro­tect the At­tor­ney Gen­er­al be­cause per­sons are paid mon­ey to kill him. Un­der­stand what we are deal­ing with in this coun­try? I tell you this not be­cause I’m be­ing ir­re­spon­si­ble, it’s be­cause I want you to know. You can’t say you don’t know. I want you to know be­cause I am the chair­man of the Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Council.”

The Prime Min­is­ter moved his of­fice to White­hall on Sep­tem­ber 2.

He said he be­lieves that some peo­ple are hop­ing for the PNM to lose of­fice so that sev­er­al mat­ters that can be pros­e­cut­ed would be swept away.

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