“Dear Dr. Rowley
Re: Public utterances made on Sunday 9 August 2015 at Market Square, Scarborough
I note with grave concern the following public utterances made by you on a political platform at Market Square, Scarborough, on Sunday 9 August 2015:
“Lo and behold, as / speak to you now, I’m surrounded by people who you pay (that is, police) to protect me from people who will have me killed. ”
‘First time in Trinidad and Tobago, the Opposition Leader is under attack from the Government. And when I’m not under attack from their friends who they hire to kill me, I’m under attack from their friends who they hire to lie about me. ”
As you are aware, this is a serious accusation which expressly and/or impliedly means that the Government has hired “their friends” to murder you. As the guardian of the public interest and a member of the Government, I feel compelled to seek further and better particulars about your outrageous and scandalous open-ended allegation.
Under the Constitution, the Cabinet is the executive arm of the state that is known as “the government”. Section 75 of the Constitution states:
75.(1) There shall be a Cabinet for Trinidad and Tobago which shall have the general direction and control of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and shall be collectively responsible therefor to Parliament.
(2) The Cabinet shall consist of the Prime Minister and such number of other Ministers (of whom one shall be the Attorney General), appointed in accordance with the provisions of section 76, as the Prime Minister may consider appropriate.
Where however false and baseless allegations are made with the intention of cause serious harm to the personal, professional and public life any citizen, including members of the Cabinet, no effort shall be spared to vindicate the good name and reputation enjoyed by these persons, where such is unjustifiably vilified.
Section 8 of the Libel and Defamation Act, Chap. 11:16 states:
8. If any person maliciously publishes any defamatory libel, knowing the same to be false, he is liable on conviction to imprisonment for two years and to pay such fine as the Coutt directs.
It is highly irresponsible, reckless and dangerous for someone who aspires to the Office of Prime Minister to make such inflammatory and provocative allegations without a shred of evidence. In the absence of cogent and compelling evidence to justify such dangerous public utterances, your speech must be regarded as malicious character assassination of all members of the Cabinet.
In the circumstances, I anxiously await the evidence and justification for this slanderous and libellous statement. I also invite you to share same with the Commissioner of Police and the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Should I fail to hear from you within forty-eight (48) hours, I shall assume that your statements were false and baseless and proceed to call upon the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Commissioner of Police to launch an immediate criminal investigation into your conduct.
I shall also call upon the Integrity Commission to investigate your conduct for a violation of Part IV of the Integrity in Public Life Act, Chap. 22:01 which establishes the code of conduct for public officials.
I will also refer this matter to the Council for Responsible Political Behaviour to determine if your conduct was in breach of the Code of Ethical Political Conduct.
Please be guided accordingly.