Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi yesterday accused the Opposition of “looking for a scandal” in the Paria Fuel Trading gasoline controversy.
The Attorney General said he had no role in the Paria Fuel Trading contract with a purchaser in Aruba, but he stressed there was “no scandal” in the transaction.
Asked by UNC Senator Wade Mark whether the Government intends to pursue legal action against the purchaser of the shipment for breach of contract, having regard to the restriction clause (that the fuel was not for any sanctioned country); the Attorney General said the question was premised on a conclusion that there had been a breach of contract.
“I am not able in a present state to say anything about that. What we do know is that there was a sale to Aruba of the particular shipment. Anything beyond that is conjecture at this point and therefore it is premature to answer,” he said.
Asked by Mark whether the same restriction clause existed with respect to earlier exports of fuel to Aruba, the Attorney General said Mark was searching for a scandal. “And there is none,” he said. “The lurching conclusions and exploratory remarks are driven by a political agenda of my friends opposite,” he said, adding that both National Security Minister Stuart Young and Energy Minister Franklin Khan had addressed this issue.
“There is no scandal and any attempt by the UNC to stir one, is against the best interest of Trinidad and Tobago and the population is searching for a reason why there is such a driven attempt to bring adverse consequences upon Trinidad and Tobago solely by the UNC,” the Attorney General said.
Asked whether the Government would be prepared to lay the contractual agreement between Paria Fuel Trading and the company in Aruba for public scrutiny, the Attorney General said he could not give such an undertaking because he had no role in this particular contract and had not seen it.
Stating that the contract involved a State enterprise that has been engaged in such transactions since the start of its operations, Al-Rawi said: “Without having seen the contract, I cannot speak to whether it contains terms and conditions of a commercial nature which would fit in the arrangement of sensitive personal information at law...
“Not being advised on it in any matter I am certainly not in the position to undertake that responsibility (to table the contract in Parliament).”
He said if Mark posed the question to the Minister of Energy an appropriate and responsible answer would be given.