Not fit for office

Vernon De Lima
Vernon De Lima

PORT OF SPAIN — National Security Minister Jack Warner should not only apologise for making erroneous statements but should also be removed from office, Congress of the People member Vernon De Lima has said.

De Lima yesterday denied he attended a meeting at the Maracas, St. Joseph, home of former chief executive officer of the Tobago Regional Health Authority, George Bell.

Bell, also speaking to the Express by phone, confirmed there was a meeting at his house but neither De Lima nor a former soldier who allegedly was engaged in a plot to assassinate the Prime Minister was in attendance. The meeting took place in February.

Bell said these were “fantasies” in Warner’s head.

De Lima, a former COP vice chairman, said he intends to write the prime minister and the house speaker on the issue.

Last Friday, in his contribution to the Defence Act (Amendment Bill) 2013, Warner said he received notes in his mailbox with respect to two meetings – one in Maraval and another in St Joseph.

Warner said the St. Joseph meeting was held at Bell’s house and in attendance was De Lima as well as a soldier – who had a criminal record and discussions were focused on destabilising the country.

COP leader Prakash Ramadhar had called for Warner to apologise to De Lima.

Yesterday, De Lima said he not only wants an apology from Warner but he also wants to see him fired as his remarks in the parliament were further proof he was not fit to be a minister of national security.

“I don’t know anybody called George Bell, I don’t know him at all. I don’t know any of the other names the minister called. I look at it as vicious and spiteful. You find two envelopes in your mailbox and then go to the parliament to make a statement like that?” said De Lima.

“People talking about how I should sue, I am a lawyer for 47 years at the criminal bar, I don’t want money, I want my name, I am not going to let Mr Jack Warner or anybody sully my name … nobody has ever cast any aspersions against me like that, I feel very indignant about it, I think Mr Warner should apologise,” said De Lima.

De Lima said Warner’s actions signal that he was unfit for office. (Express)

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