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‘I will not act in haste’

By NEWSDAY REPORTER Friday, April 18 2014

PRIME Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday said while she is aware of certain allegations being made against Tobago Development Minister Dr Delmon Baker, she will not take any action until the completion of an ongoing police investigation.

Further, since the matter involving Dr Baker is now engaging the police, she will also not comment publicly on it.

She did confirm that she has spoken to Dr Baker who is also the Tobago West MP last week when he raised certain issues with her. Asked for details of their discussions and if she was aware of the exact nature of the allegations made against Dr Baker, Persad-Bissessar said,

“No, apart from what I read in the media no minister has indicated any such matter, however, Minister Baker spoke with me some time last week. He has made a report to the police of possible attempts of extortion and therefore I would say no more on that matter, it being a matter under police investigation.”

“He (Dr Baker) has made a report to the police on a possible extortion and therefore I will say no more on that matter.” Asked if she was concerned about allegations of wrongdoing made against Government Ministers, Persad-Bissessar said, “I am always concerned about any allegations made against any minister. However, I will not act prematurely in any matter. As I said the matter is under investigation, it would be very imprudent if not reckless of me to make any pronouncements on that matter until the investigation is complete.”

The Prime Minister spoke to reporters yesterday following an impromptu birth celebration Cabinet and Government members had for her at the La Boucan Restaurant in the Trinidad Hilton. Persad-Bissessar’s birthday is next week Tuesday.

In an interview earlier with Newsday, Dr Baker said it was political “mischief” the actions of persons responsible for a report which circulated about him. Baker confirmed that he has retained attorney Avory Sinanan SC to consider legal options over uncorroborated reports broadcast on radio about him. “It would appear that (the intention) is to cause all kinds of public mischief,” Baker told Newsday. He said two Mondays ago, he received, “what amounts to extortion via email” and reported the matter to the police. He said the correspondence was one, “Purporting that I conducted myself inappropriately.” Thereafter, “I told the Prime Minister of my intent to go to the police and to defend my character in this matter.”

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