Below is the Attorney General’s full response to the article, “Hinds’ acts on AG’s $14M house claims, Bank account open to cops” which was published on Saturday 28th September, 2013 in the Trinidad Guardian. Unfortunately, the AG’s response was heavily truncated in today’s Guardian article, “AG happy Hinds breaks silence on four-storey palace in Maraval.“
The Attorney General wishes to release his full statement to the public.
RE: AG RESPONDS TO SENATOR HINDS’ RECENT STATEMENTS
Whilst I am happy that Senator Hinds has finally stopped running from the media and broken his silence on his magnificent four story palace in Maraval, he has not answered the fundamental questions I posed to him and your reporter facilitated an opportunity for him to sidestep the real issues. This much is evident from the absence of any probing questions and the endless narrative from Hinds.
Hinds condemned the wonderful efforts of the “UNC Youths on a Mission” to bring a smile to the faces of the children in socially vulnerable areas by distributing book bags, basic school supplies and food hampers. This initiative was launched in Besson Street and has been a huge success all over the country as the youths have been warmly embraced by the communities.
Hinds demanded that the people reject the youths and not accept anything from them. I pointed out that Hinds was asking the children to reject the school bags and other items without saying if he was going to offer anything to them. I exposed the fact that he did not even live among the people as he lived in a posh neighbourhood in Maraval in a multi-million dollar mansion. I accused him of living high off the hog while pretending to be a humble ‘Nelson Mandela’.
I then asked him if he had ever invited a child from Laventille to his home, to take a dip in his swimming pool or eat at his fancy dining table. I inquired whether he had ever given out book bags and school supplies to the children who were affected by the floods in Diego Martin or those that happily accepted the school bags in Besson Street. He has not answered these questions. Instead, he has raised the issue of his ability to finance the cost of his mansion. Your reporter apparently felt constrained to pose these unanswered questions (which were the focus of my presentation) to Mr Hinds.
On July 15, 2010 the Guardian front page story reported on a lawsuit filed by his neighbour for trespass. It stated “McPherson accused Hinds of constructing ‘a very impressive four-storey house, together with a swimming pool, upon lands which the claimant estimates to be in the value of at least $7,000,000.’ There was no denial of this story. Three years later, Hinds is now asking us to believe that his neighbour lied on him as he has no swimming pool. Your reporter did not see it fit to defend your newspaper by asking why there was no denial to its front page story based on the statements from Hinds’s neighbour.
The silly statement that he has authorised his banks to open his accounts was for scrutiny is sly, self-serving and superfluous. If there is such an investigation, the law gives the police the power to access such information. Unlike Senator Hinds, my properties have been the subject of much scrutiny and inspection and I am not afraid of any investigation be it into my emails or properties.
Hinds constantly portrays himself as a humble man who identifies with the suffering and plight of the people in Laventille and other socially vulnerable areas. He has attacked the Prime Minister and others for enjoying the fruits of their labour and sacrifice by making all manner of allegations about her home. Most people think Hinds lives in Laventille in a humble home among the people he represented in parliament. No one appreciates the reality that Mr Hinds in fact lives in a four story multi-million dollar mansion in such posh and exclusive settings in Hillsboro, Maraval.
Far removed from the hustle for survival of the ordinary folk, Mr Hinds is comfortably ensconced among the rich and elite in our society. He offers nothing to the children of Laventille and Diego Martin, but asks that they reject what others have to sincerely offer: a classic case of belly full man telling hungry belly man to hold strain. As reported elsewhere in the media, this, was the focus of my exposure and your reporter clearly missed the mark. For avoidance of doubt, I attach a copy of the Hansard with my entire contribution.
Hinds admitted to the parliament on March 19, 2004 that “Morvant/Laventille is not fundamentally better off than it was eight years ago when I assumed office.” He said his task was “humongous and made even more so by the lethargy of far too many…residents…” It’s all well and good for him to call the people of Lavantille and Morvant lazy and lethargic but the burning issue remains, given that his party has ruled this country for almost 50 years, what has he done to help them?
Dated: SUNDAY 29TH SEPTEMBER, 2013.
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO