PORT OF SPAIN — Bryan Soldier Barry Barrington, one of the key individuals who, according to National Security Minister Jack Warner, attended a meeting in St. Joseph at which people conspired to destabilise the country, has vehemently denied he ever attended such a meeting.
He also said yesterday he did not know attorney Vernon De Lima or businessman George Bell who Warner also alleged attended the meeting.
“I don’t have such big friends,” Barrington – a former Defence Force soldier – told the Express yesterday.
Warner, in the House of Representatives last Friday, named Soldier Barry, Bell and De Lima among 15 people who gathered at Bell’s home in Maracas, St Joseph.
“At that meeting he, Barry says, is time to destabilise the country and he discussed ways and means of doing so,” Warner said.
Barrington, Warner pointed out, was one of the 16 people detained in an alleged plot to assassinate Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
Yesterday, Barrington denied he was ever involved in anything designed to threaten the national security of the country. He said Warner was making statements without proper verification.
“I don’t know where they getting their information from. But even self, you as a minister must confirm that the information you get is good. You can’t just jump on the television so and say thing about people. This is terrorist talk. The man (Warner) talking about people wanting to destabilise the country. This is a serious allegation,” Barrington said.
He said he was told because the statement was made in parliament, he could not do anything about it. Parliamentarians are protected by privilege and therefore statements made in parliament are immured from libel.
Barrington, who was detained during the State of Emergency in 2011, on an allegation that he was one of the people plotting to assassinate Persad-Bissessar, said: “They leave me lock up for two weeks and then nobody could explain anything and then they just let go me.”
He said he was bitten by a police dog during a subsequent search.
“And now this (latest) incident,” he said.
Warner had also said Barrington was charged and served time for “several murders”.
But Barrington said he was charged in connection with one murder.
Told of Barrington’s denial, Warner said yesterday: “Okay. Good.” (Express)