— says Ramotar
In a recorded telephone conversation between Attorney General Anil Nandlall and a senior reporter, Nandlall said, “I use some money from the government and Glenn mek an issue of it.
“I pay back deh f**king money long before he even mek (it an) issue.”
The AG later declared that the money was released to him by Cabinet for a medical emergency.
The money used by the AG amounted to $6M.
During the press conference on Friday, President Ramotar was asked to explain the process when a Cabinet Member requires money for medical emergencies.
He did not. The question was prompted by Nandlall’s comment in the recorded conversation.
“I do not think Nandlall did anything wrong. Long before I became President, Cabinet Members had that kind of privilege.”
But last week, Leader of the Alliance for Change, Khemraj Ramjattan, said that even if there is a provision for Cabinet Members to access funds for medical emergencies, the provision is for the member not a son, mother or wife of the member.
Ramjattan said that there was no such provision while he was a member of Cabinet.
But the President said yesterday, contrary to what was noted before by Government officials, that family members of Cabinet officials can indeed access money.
He said that Cabinet would usually make this judgment on a case to case basis.
During the recording, Nandlall was heard admitting that his wife was involved in the utilization of the money.
When asked to state whether he would have considered the use the money went to as an emergency, Ramotar responded, “You know what I find wrong with this conversation, I was just speaking about privacy…we shouldn’t speak about health problems publically.”
The President however conceded that it is public funds and the public has a right to know but said that “ethics” prevented him from speaking further on the use of money for medical reasons.
President Ramotar was reminded that Nandlall said he repaid the money which would suggest that he took a loan. With that given basis, the President was asked if it is normal to borrow for personal reasons.
He responded, “I did not get into all the details about that because as I said I don’t like to get into people’s health business but I suppose if Nandlall said that (he repaid), it is because he probably did not want to make that an issue. But you have to ask him that.”
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