(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.