Opposition MP David Lee ought to be charged if there is any evidence that he committed a crime, says Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
Speaking at the United National Congress (UNC) virtual meeting on Monday night, the former prime minister, however, said she can “vouch” for Lee and the vehicular transaction that is under question, as no wrongdoing was committed.
Lee has not yet spoken on the matter.
The Sunday Express reported that Lee was questioned by police in connection with the purchase of a $2.3 million Mercedes-Benz and whether the $1.4 million in tax exemptions derived may have benefited a party financier.
The Pointe-a-Pierre MP was questioned by detectives of the Financial Investigation Branch of the Police Service last week Monday, in connection with the purchase of the Mercedes-Benz AMG G 63 valued at $2,344,752.16.
The investigation surrounding Lee involves his parliamentary privilege of exemption from paying taxes on the purchase of a vehicle, and whether he used the exemptions to benefit a South-based businessman and UNC financier.
Persad-Bissessar said this was a “non-story” and a distraction by the Government. “They are trying to use distractions to change the narrative. I don’t know who they got in some newspaper, a two-year-old non-story making about one of our MPs something about a car. When Faris (Al-Rawi) transfer his car to—what the boy name?—Kawalsingh years later, up to now there is no record of a legal transfer in the Licence Office unless you all went and put it in after,” she said.
“The cheque that was supposedly paid—that cheque was never stamped with a bank stamp. They did it after the fact when we started raising the questions. Why doesn’t the media ask about those things?” she added.
Feuding with trade unionist
In October 2021, Persad-Bissessar had called on the police to investigate then-AG Faris Al-Rawi’s sale of a Porsche Cayenne to former Police Service Commission member Roger Kawalsingh in 2016. Persad-Bissessar had said then that records show the vehicle was not transferred to Kawalsingh.
At Monday’s meeting, Persad-Bissessar asked why the media doesn’t ask questions about this, and also Works Minister Rohan Sinanan’s sale of a Maybach to a contractor. “Why don’t you ask about that? You come with a total non-story, non-issue to raise that as a distraction, but you know strange enough, people so fed up of you and your lies and all your false narratives, nobody even taking that story on because there is nothing in it,” she said.
“There is nothing illegal in that transaction and tonight I vouch for that, and I call upon the Government—if you have thing to charge the man, charge the man. We have plenty lawyers in the UNC, you know. Good lawyers, too,” she added.