A closed-door session of the Privileges Committee meeting fell apart today after Oropouche East Member of Parliament Dr Roodal Moonilal refused to give his opening submissions.
Though the attendees of the private session were bound by confidentiality, Guardian Media learned that Moonilal challenged the current composition of the Committee.
Moonilal was before the Committee to answer questions on two matters: his behaviour during a Parliamentary debate last October when he allegedly told Laventille West MP Fitzgerald Hinds "that's why Snake have lead for you" and his reference to a financial triangle involving Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, AV Drilling and a Miami-based company.
Moonilal said then that Rowley benefited from a financial transaction connected to A&V Drilling in Florida, which the PM refuted.
Last October Hinds and Leader of Government Business and Arouca-Maloney MP Camille Robinson-Regis raised the issue of privilege and Speaker of the House Brigid Annisette-George agreed to the motion.
Moonilal though has since been challenging the composition of the committee since both Hinds and Robinson-Regis are on the tribunal.
After his legal letter to the Committee in November, both Hinds and Robinson-Regis recused themselves.
With regards to the Rowley matter, in November Moonilal's attorneys wrote to the Parliamentary secretary Jacqui Sampson-Meiguel, saying that it would be “ill-advised” for the six-member committee to proceed with its inquiry as Rowley referred the issue to the police and it is now part of an investigation.
More in Tuesday's Guardian.
- by Renuka Singh