Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi responds to a question posed by Opposition Senator Wade Mark during yesterday’s sitting of the Senate.

It’s premature to answer conjecture on whether Paria Fuel Trading Company’s contract for the recent sale of fuel to Aruba was breached, Attorney General Faris Al Rawi said yesterday.

The AG, in the Senate, dismissed an Opposition premise that the contract with Aruba for the controversial April fuel shipment purchase, had been breached.

UNC Senator Wade Mark’s query on the issue yesterday was the latest development after the UNC recently alleged the fuel shipment Paria sold to Aruba in April, ended up in Venezuela.

On Monday, National Security Minister Stuart Young in dismissing the UNC’s claims said Paria’s contract had a clause which barred the sending/reselling of the fuel to any state under US sanction.

Young said this included Venezuela, Iran and similarly sanctioned states.

Yesterday the AG was asked by Mark, whether having regard to the restriction clause in Paria’s agreement, Government “intends to pursue legal action against the purchaser for breach of contract.”

Al Rawi said, “This question is premised on a conclusion that’s not before us. The query is premised on there being a breach of contract. I’m not now in a present state to say anything on that but we do know there is sale to Aruba of the shipment—anything beyond that is conjecture. At this point, it’s premature to answer any conjecture on this,” Al Rawi said.

Mark asked if the AG could confirm if Paria’s earlier contracts for export of fuel to Aruba had similar provisions.

Al Rawi replied, “…(Mark) is searching for a scandal and there’s none. He’s driven by the Opposition‘s political agenda. The position advanced by the National Security and Energy ministers is that there’s no scandal.”

Al Rawi added the UNC was trying to stir up a situation which was against T&T’s interests.

“People are asking why the UNC solely, wants to bring adverse consequences on T&T,” he said.

Mark asked if the AG could lay the Paria contract in the Senate. But Al Rawi said he “had no role in this particular arrangement as it was via a state enterprise doing its business.

Without having seen the contract, Al Rawi was uncertain if its terms held sensitive information.

“Therefore not having advised on it, I can’t undertake (to lay it in Senate),” Al Rawi said, suggesting the query be posed to the Energy Minister.

On replies to other Opposition queries, acting Leader of Government Business in the Senate, Clarence Rambharat said there’s been a decrease in shootings targeting on-duty officers.

This was 88 in 2017 and is now down to eight.

“…A big decrease,” Rambharat said attributing it to the Police Commissioner’s ‘One shot, one kill’ policy and improved training.

He said there’s also been a fluctuation in the number of shootings directed at off-duty police officers over 2015-2019. Shootings targetting such officers ranged from 33 in 2014, with varying numbers in between and was 35 in 2019.