Death threat for Rowley
By ALEXANDER BRUZUAL Wednesday, October 3 2012
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ON PATROL: Heavily armed soldiers on foot patrol in Trou Macaque, Laventille yesterday. ...
NATIONAL Security Minister Jack Warner yesterday confirmed that Opposition People’s National Movement (PNM) leader Dr Keith Rowley has received a death threat from persons unknown.
Delivering the feature address at a community meeting in Trou Macaque, Laventille, Warner said he was advised that Dr Rowley, who is also the Member of Parliament for Diego Martin West had “recently received a threat against his life”, a threat which the police are actively investigating.
“I am advised today that the Opposition Leader has got a death threat. I have been so advised. And while that is not in the remit of the Ministry of National Security nor of course is it within my immediate jurisdiction, I can say that the police are investigating the matter closely and they will deal with it,” Warner said.
However, Warner said that as a Member of Parliament, such threats ought not to deter any MP from doing his/her national duties.
“The Opposition Leader has gotten a death threat, the Attorney General (Anand Ramlogan) has gotten several death threats and I myself have received several. But I tell you today, as far as I am concerned these death threats will not cower us.
“They will not allow us to be cowered into fear. And I am quite sure when the police investigate, they will tell him (Dr Rowley) the same,” Warner said.
Just last year, Dr Rowley and PNM Senator Fitzgerald Hinds, reported to police that they had received threatening letters which also spoke of former prime minister and former PNM political leader Patrick Manning, returning to lead the PNM before returning that party to government.
At that time, as part of their investigations, police officers questioned several persons including members of the Jamaat-al-Muslimeen. However, no one was held in connection with the threatening letters sent to Rowley and Hinds.
Speaking to Newsday late yesterday, PNM Public Relations Officer Senator Faris Al Rawi, questioned why National Security Minister Warner would make the death threat Rowley had received, public.
While emphasising that he has not heard Warner’s statements himself, Al Rawi said that based on what he had been told, he is questioning Warner’s motive to make the threat against Rowley public, when Dr Rowley himself has not gone that route.
“I think that this is probably a matter best for the police and I question the role of the Minister of National Security in making something like this public when clearly Dr Rowley has not done so himself. To me, it is within Dr Rowley’s right and remit to speak on such matters that concern him and his security and since this matter is properly within the domain of the police presently, I am not quite certain for the Minister’s motive in revealing this information,” Al Rawi said.
At the time, the Senator did not reveal the nature of the threat, pointing out it was now in the hands of the police. However, he did concede that the matter was one of a “very serious nature” and that all “appropriate actions” relating to the Opposition Leader’s safety have been taken.
Efforts by Newsday to reach Dr Rowley for a comment last night proved futile.
Ramlogan and Chief of Defence Staff Brigadier Kenrick Maharaj accompanied Minister Warner on his trip in Trou Macaque where they met and spoke with several residents.
Both Warner and Ramlogan reiterated Government’s hope that the police and military presence in Laventille would continue to maintain a peace which for the past 23 days has seen no murders or shootings or robberies or other acts of violence being committed in Laventille which has been deemed a crime “hotspot”.