Colman chides 3 ex-ministers
Tuesday, October 23 2012
CHAIRMAN of the Commission of Inquiry into the collapse of the Hindu Credit Union (HCU) and Clico, Sir Anthony Colman, yesterday chided former PNM ministers Mariano Browne, Conrad Enill and Danny Montano for – unlike Karen Nunez-Tesheira – not testifying before the inquiry saying there has been a “remarkable lack of cooperation”.
At the start of Nunez-Tesheira’s testimony yesterday, Sir Anthony noted that she has testified at the proceedings on two different occassions, while her former cabinet colleagues have declined..
“It is noticeable that there has been a remarkable lack of cooperation from others, who were responsible for political decision-taking — to mention a few names: Mr Enill, Mr Browne and Mr Montano in particular — have not offered to come and give evidence,” Sir Anthony said at Winsure Building, Richmond Street, Port-of-Spain.
“It is surprising perhaps that those who were the political representatives of the people of Trinidad and Tobago have not been able to provide assistance to the Commission in circumstances where it might have been expected of them,” he added.
To Nunez-Tesheira, he said, “The commission is very grateful to you for coming a second time.”
Browne and Enill were both Ministers in the Ministry of Finance. Browne, in particular, was Acting Minister of Finance between April 10 to April 15, 2008, when the HCU was in talks with the State for a bailout. Montano was a former Minister of Labour, with oversight for the office of the Commissioner for Cooperative Development, the credit union regulator.
“There has been evidence to the effect that Montano was against the holding of an inquiry into the HCU, and that Enill received reports of concerns of money-laundering at HCU, and Clico.
Commission counsel, Edwin Glasgow QC, said Browne last Thursday sent a letter to the Inquiry indicating that he thinks he is unable to add anything to the deliberations of the Commission. Enill, Glasgow said, had sent a two-page statement.
“But neither of them is able to give evidence today,” he said.