PORT OF SPAIN – Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar remained mum yesterday on the controversial video allegedly showing a man resembling a Government minister rolling a suspected marijuana cigarette while in a hotel room with two women. This even as Congress of the People (COP) general secretary Clyde Weatherhead confirmed that the party yesterday obtained a copy of the controversial video from TV6 for review.
Weatherhead said COP’s political leader Prakash Ramadhar had indicated that Sports Minister Anil Roberts, who is yet to confirm or deny whether the man in the video is him, had spoken with him on the issue and had agreed to meet with some senior party officials on the subject. In a brief telephone interview with the T&T Guardian last evening, Weatherhead, who was attending his uncle’s funeral, said he himself was yet to view the video.
In fact, he said, no COP executive member had viewed the video, since Roberts, a member of the party, requested he be present for the viewing. “We are in the process of making arrangements to meet with Minister Roberts and we will view the video with Minister Roberts at his request,” Weatherhead said. Also contacted by cellphone yesterday, COP chair Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan said she was at a conference at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain, and could not comment.
Yesterday, Persad-Bissessar opted not to comment on the video when she was approached by reporters after the formal opening of the $26 million Metal Industries Company Ltd (MIC) Technology Institute at Clarke Road, Penal. She said: “I have no further comment on that. I made a statement of Saturday. I have no further comment on that matter.” On Saturday, Persad-Bissessar said she would only make a decision on Roberts’s political future with the party after carefully examining the existing evidence.
She said then: “A decision must be made in the national interest. I will make it without fear and without favour.” The Prime Minister added: “But even as I am looking at this, I find it very, very strange, they say passing strange, that this was a video over a year-and-a-half ago. The PNM was saying that they had this video and they talking about it a year and a half ago.”
After defending the minister, Persad-Bissessar removed the controversial multimillion-dollar Life Sport programme from under Roberts’s ministry and reassigned it to the National Security Ministry. The move came following allegations the programme was supporting criminal activity.